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RHPD reports: Hit and run driver waves on way down the road
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From Richmond Hill Police Department reports.

Hit and run: Police were sent to a parking lot near the intersection of highways 144 and 17 shortly before 7:30 p.m. April 12. There, a man said he’d been stopped at the 144 and Exchange Street intersection, when “a dark colored vehicle driven by a male party slammed into the rear of his vehicle, causing moderate damage. (The victim) advised that the vehicle then went into the Dairy Queen parking lot, exited, and proceeded east on Highway 144 without stopping at the incident location. (The victim) advised that the driver even waved, acknowledging that he knew, and proceeded.”

The victim said he hurt his knee in the wreck and he was in pain. He got a case number and was told how to get a copy of the report.

Matter of record: A 71-year-old Richmond Hill man called police around noon April 11 to report someone was “poisoning his animals,” a report said.

The man said it started five years ago. He said he feeds and cares for stray cats, and “about five years ago he noticed what he described as a white powder substance on the food he leaves for the cats,” around his garage door and in the driveway.

The man told police he thinks that’s someone trying to poison the cats he feeds. “He backed this up by saying a neighbor had shot a cat with a .22 rifle some years ago and ‘he found him driving around looking for cats.’” The man then showed an officer what he suspected was the poison and police saw that “was found to be rocks and oyster/ seashells.”

The man said he heard someone that morning putting out poison, even in his back yard, but “he stated he cut the lights on and he stated he did not see anyone out there.” The man asked if RHPD could test some of the substance, but the officer said no and told the man he needed to know the city’s animal at large ordinance, which means “if he feeds and cares for stray felines (along with calling them his cats), it could be reasonable to believe he is responsible for them and could be held civilly liable if they damage neighbor’s property.”

The man said he got told the same thing by animal control.

The man wanted the incident documented, and the officer suggested he “acquire video surveillance equipment if he wanted to catch someone doing this,” the report said, “to which he replied he could not because he spends all his money on cat food.”

Wanted person: Police were sent to a bar on Highway 17 on April 12 “in reference to a very intoxicated person” who’d been kicked out of the place and was trying to start fights in the parking lot.

The man had a Rincon address and described as a heavy set white male – he was listed as 5-foot-8 and 285 pounds. And his pants wouldn’t stay up and kept falling down around his ankles. In addition to being combative, the man refused to “pull his pants up (so) officers at the scene had to help him.”

While police were doing their job they found he had a warrant from Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, so he was arrested and taken to jail.

Matter of record: An officer ran the tag of an SUV on Highway 17 near the viaduct around 4:30 a.m. April 15 and was told the insurance status was unknown. He pulled the SUV over and told the driver why.

She told him she was late paying, and then said her payment was rejected due to lack of funds, so she didn’t have any insurance, the report said. The officer cited the woman for not having insurance and her SUV was towed.

And then, this: “At the time of the incident (the woman) tried to tell (another officer) that she had insurance, and she refused to sign the citation …. (She) called me profanities after I gave her and her two children a courtesy ride … while I was leaving,” the officer reported.

Theft by taking: A man reported he was staying at a Rushing Street address April 11 when his host stole $450 in cash out of his wallet overnight. The man said he didn’t want to pursue charges, but wanted the incident documented.

Suspended license, traffic violations: An officer on patrol April 12 around 9:30 p.m. saw a pickup run a red light on Highway 17 near Mulberry Drive. The driver said “he was distracted by a bag that moved in his vehicle.” A check of his license showed it had been suspended earlier in the month for failing to appear. The man was charged. The pickup was turned over to a licensed driver.

Matter of record: An officer was sent to Quality Inn for an EMS assist call at 5 a.m. April 11.

Traffic violation, marijuana possession: Police spotted a car exit I-95 onto Highway 17 around 12:05 a.m. April 17 without a tag. A stop led to misdemeanor marijuana charges and a charge for improperly displaying the tag – it was in the window. Before the stop someone threw something from the window, which was found by RHPD’s drug dog.

Drugs: Two women were arrested on multiple drug charges after a stop initiated when police spotted a pickup leave the Dogwood Inn on Highway 17 around 2 a.m. April 17 without a tag light. The driver was wanted by Effingham County on drug charges; RHPD’s drug dog alerted on the pickup, which led to a search that resulted in police finding meth and pills, according to the report, as well as drug paraphernalia. The women denied knowing there were drugs in the pickup. Both were taken to jail. The pickup was towed.

Drugs: An officer patrolling Highway 17 near the Royal Inn April 17 pulled over an SUV with a taillight out. A check of the tag showed it didn’t belong on the SUV, and the driver ultimately was found to have a glass pipe and methamphetamine inside the pickup, the report said.

He was arrested.

 Matter of record: Two people reported around 11:45 p.m. April 17 they booked rooms at the Dogwood Inn using an online room booking app called OYO but found there was no vacancy and no refunds would be given by the motel. The manager said the customers would have to call the OYO hotline in the morning to verify there was no room and they would get a refund.

Matter of record: Police were sent April 17 to a Falcon Drive address regarding a possible fight. There, they were told by a woman she got into a wreck using a borrowed vehicle. The vehicle’s owner claimed he never let the woman use the vehicle. The officer was able to get information on the accident from the Georgia State Patrol and passed that along to the vehicle owner, and told him it was his word against the woman’s as far as whether he’d let her use the car, and that was a civil matter.

Drugs, obstruction, etc: Police were sent April 17 to a Falcon Drive address “in reference to an elderly woman struck by another person.” Police found a man trying to hide behind a pickup across the street from the address and saw him both eat and destroy what turned out to be bottles with various pills, etc., the report said. Pot was also found. The man had to be taken into custody using force, and he was asked if he needed EMS but refused.

Damage to property: Police were sent April 17 to Ashton Apartments regarding a shattered window. The complainant said a juvenile threw a rock which hit his window by accident. He found out where the juvenile lived and the officer talked to an adult at the apartment, telling her the man was claiming the damage on his insurance, etc.

Matter of record: A man reported April 16 he had a court order allowing him to have his son for the night, but when he got to the pickup point “his soon to be ex-wife refused his son to leave with him,” despite the civil action “which stated he was allowed to.” The man wanted that to documented so it could be presented to the judge.

Suspended license, speeding: A driver was clocked going 56 in a 35 mph zone on Highway 17 on April 15 and pulled over. Her license had been suspended in October 2020 for a Super Speeder violation, but she still had it. She handed it over to the officer, who handed her citations. A licensed driver came to drive the vehicle.

Matter of record: A man said April 17 his car was parked behind his place of work at Jalapenos when it was damaged by a pressure washing company cleaning the parking lot. He was given a case number.

Wanted person: An officer checking tags at random on April 15 found one whose registered owner was wanted in Gilmer County. The man was arrested and taken to jail to wait for a deputy from Gilmer County.

Marijuana possession, traffic violations: An officer running radar around 12:39 a.m. April 14 near the Ford Plantation entrance clocked a vehicle going east at 62 mph. The driver, a Florida man, didn’t have a license and was smoking pot. There was also marijuana in the car, the report said. The man was cited and his vehicle was turned over to another driver.

Fleeing, suspended license, etc: Police spotted a car around 3:29 a.m. April 14 headed south on Highway 17 with the trunk lid open, and knew it had been reported earlier that night as being driven by a person known to police for various offenses. After a search for the man, who had a woman in the car, an officer saw the car stopped in the road which took off again after the woman got into the driver’s seat, nearly hitting an 18-wheeler and reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph, the report said. Police did not pursue, and instead notified Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and issued warrants for both of the suspects.

Matter of record: A man reported April 14 someone left a car running on his property while the driver had walked into the woods. The man said there were issues with catalytic converters being stolen and thought the person might be involved in the thefts. The owner of the vehicle returned and told police she dropped her husband off at work nearby and then saw the trees and wanted to gather branches because she makes items from old tree limbs to sell on Etsy. She was told she was trespassing and wasn’t welcome on the property and left without making a fuss. The property owner got a case number.

Meth possession, no license: A Nahunta man was arrested April 14 after a vehicle was seen on Highway 17 stopped in the road, blocking the entrance to motels. A check of the tag showed it had no insurance and was on the wrong vehicle. The man was spotted carrying a can of gas to the vehicle and said it ran out, but after some questioning police found he had a warrant for his arrest and a search of the vehicle resulted in officers finding suspected methamphetamine. He was taken to jail and charged with possession of methamphetamine, no insurance and an unregistered vehicle.

Possession of drug related objects, suspended license: Police stopped a woman shortly before 9 p.m. April 14 because the vehicle she was driving had a headlight out. The woman said her license had been suspended and gave it to the officer, and a search turned up drug paraphernalia, and the woman reportedly said she used them to smoke “ice,” or crystal methamphetamine. The woman was given a court date.

Wanted person: A traffic stop for an inoperable brake light around 11:26 p.m. April 14 on Highway 17 led police to turn a man who was wanted for shoplifting in Garden City over to that city’s police department. During the stop both the man and a passenger were carrying handguns. The man arrested had his gun taken to the property room, the passenger’s was returned. The vehicle was turned over to a friend. The man was given a warning for the inoperable brake light.

Drugs, traffic offenses: A Midway man was arrested April 13 after a car was spotted going into Piercefield around 1:43 a.m. with a tail light out. A drug dog alerted on the vehicle and a search turned up a syringe and metal spoon, cotton swaps and a plastic bag with a white powdery substance that tested positive as heroin/fentanyl. The car was towed, the man was taken to jail.

Suspended license, etc: An officer running radar around midnight April 13 on I-95 clocked a driver headed north at 83 mph and pulled the driver over. The man’s Virginia license wasn’t valid. The man was cited. His wife was allowed to get behind the wheel and head north.

Matter of record: Two mothers claimed April 14 two suspicious males were hanging around the Buckeye Apartment Complex pool talking to kids. Officers responded and checked things out and talked to management about the men. The women were given a case number.

Found property: A woman who works at the KOA in Richmond Hill reported April 13 a man who had been evicted had left his wallet in a locker. Attempts to contact him had been unsuccessful. The wallet was taken to RHPD for safekeeping and an officer tried to reach the man, leaving a message on his voicemail.

Matter of record: Richmond Hill Fire Department officers reported April 14 that while painting fire hydrants in Main Street subdivision one of the residents found someone had wiped paint on her car and called RHFD. RHFD was going to take care of the damage and needed the report, the officer was told.

Matter of record: A man reported April 12 he gave out his Social Security number to a scammer. The man said after he realized his mistake he froze his financial and credit accounts, and wanted the report to make sure nothing happened in the future.

Matter of record: A Casey Drive woman reported April 12 a neighbor saw someone in a lawn care company use a leaf blower to blow debris off parked vehicles after cutting grass and caused a small cover on her roof rack to come off. Efforts by an officer to replace the cover were unsuccessful. A supervisor with the lawn care company said the complainant was aggressive and they could call back when they calmed down. The officer told both sides the issue was a civil matter and gave them a case number.

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