One hospitalized after fire rescue
A Martinez woman pulled from her burning apartment late Thursday remained in critical condition at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center on Friday morning.
Demetria D’Antignac, 31, was in critical but stable condition, said hospital spokeswoman Barclay Bishop.
Firefighters responded to D’Antignac’s Petersburg Circle apartment at about 11:20 p.m. They broke down the door of the apartment and found her collapsed near the back door, said Battalion Chief Danny Kuhlmann of Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue.
D’Antignac was likely alerted to the fire by a working smoke detector, which was still going off when firefighters arrived, Kuhlmann said.
A neighbor who’d gone outside saw the fire in the Petersburg Place Town Homes off Old Petersburg Road and called 911.
Investigators with the fire department and state Fire Marshal’s Office believe the fire started in the kitchen, but can’t be sure until they speak with D’Antignac, spokesman Jeremy Wallen said Friday.
The rest of the apartment was damaged by smoke and adjoining units also sustained minor smoke damage, Wallen said. Four other units were initially evacuated, but those residents returned to their homes after the fire was extinguished. Firefighters initially were told a child was also in the burned unit. However, Wallen said, they later learned the child was staying with a grandmother.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Shots fired after domestic dispute
Authorities responded Thursday to the threat of a gunman hiding in the woods near his Appling home following a fight with his wife.
Deputies responded to a home on the 3000 block of Ray Owens Road at about 5 p.m. Thursday. A 48-year-old woman told authorities that during a fight with her husband, he put her in a head lock then left with a rifle.
The woman said her husband is obsessed with deer hunting, so she took the key to his gun cabinet to prevent him from leaving for the woods. On Thursday, the woman said her husband asked for the key so he could go hunting. When she refused, the woman said her husband got mad and retrieved a crow bar to pry open the cabinet. He threw his wife to the ground when she tried to stop him. When the woman tried to stop her husband again, she said he put her in a head lock.
The man eventually opened the cabinet, retrieved a rifle and left. She heard three or four gunshots, so she called the sheriff’s office. Her husband ran into the woods before deputies arrived.
According to family members, the man typically goes hunting after a fight with his wife.
The sheriff’s office Special Response Team were called as a precaution. Deputies took the woman, who had abrasions on her arms and neck, from the home in an armored vehicle to North Columbia Elementary School to be checked by paramedics, sheriff’s office Maj. Rick Whitaker said.
Though shots were fired from the area of the woods behind the home, which backs up to a hunting plantation, deputies were not able to determine who fired them or why.
Authorities left before locating the man after determining he was not a danger to himself or others, Whitaker said.
Charges might be filed pending further investigation, Whitaker said.
Man busted for illegal shotgun
An Augusta man was arrested early Friday after authorities caught him with a sawed-off shotgun in the backseat of his car.
Alonzo Keith Coleman Jr., 22, of Shadow Moss Court, was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon.
Just after midnight, a deputy saw a man, later identified as Coleman, sitting in a Lincoln Town Car in the parking lot of Walmart on Bobby Jones Expressway. He stayed in the car for several minutes, and drove out of the lot as a Columbia County sheriff’s deputy drove past. A check of the car revealed it had no insurance and the registration was suspended.
Deputies stopped Coleman in the parking lot of the nearby Enmark gas station a few minutes later. As two deputies approached the Lincoln, they saw Coleman reach into the back seat, where they saw a sawed-off shotgun in plain view on the floorboard. They ordered Coleman out of the car and arrested him.
When searching the car, deputies found 20 loose shotgun shells and the sawed-off shotgun with a 16-inch barrel on the backseat floorboard. The safety on the gun was off and a spent shell was in the chamber. They also found 1.7 grams of marijuana in the center console.
Coleman also was charged with driving on a suspended license, with no insurance and with a suspended registration. He was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.
Man tries to run out on bar tab
A Grovetown man was arrested Thursday after he tried to run out on his bar tab at a Martinez Mexican restaurant.
Alejandro Garay Gonzalez, 42, of Great Falls Drive, was charged with theft of services.
An employee of Hacienda Mexican Restaurant on Columbia Road told police Gonzalez had two draft beers and two shots of tequila between 6-7 p.m. when he tried to leave without paying the $20 bill. The employee asked him several times to pay, but Gonzalez refused. An off-duty deputy saw Gonzalez try to leave. Gonzalez and the employee were outside when deputies arrived.
A search of Gonzalez revealed he had no cash or other forms of payment.
He was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on a $1,600 bond, according to jail records.