Bus driver acquitted of stiff-arming pupil
A jury has acquitted a former Columbia County school bus driver accused of "stiff-arming" a rowdy pupil on his school bus last February.
A Columbia County jury found Michael Wayne Wallace, of Martinez, not guilty of simple battery. The jury deliberated less than 30 minutes before announcing the verdict late Monday.
Police say the incident occurred Feb. 9 after two 9-year-olds threatened each other on the bus Wallace drove. The driver, who resigned the next day, told the child to quit talking and sit down, and he abruptly stopped the bus after the child refused to obey, according to a sheriff's incident report.
Wallace walked to the back of the bus, cursed at the boy and put his hands on him, police said.
Wallace was arrested March 13 on a charge of simple battery and was later released after posting a $1,000 bond, according to the report. He was indicted on the charge in August. Police said both pupils, whose names were not released, were charged March 13 with making terroristic threats and were released to their parents.
Harlem Middle pupil arrested over firearm
Police arrested a Harlem Middle School seventh-grader Wednesday after finding a gun, a school official said.
The gun was not loaded, Columbia County Assistant Superintendent Sandra Carraway said.
"All indications are he was just showing it off," Carraway said. "No threats had been made with it."
The boy was taken to the Regional Youth Detention Center, she said. Police charged him with possession of a firearm on school grounds and possession of a firearm by a person younger than 18, Harlem Department of Public Safety Chief Jerry Baldwin said.
The boy is not allowed back to school until he appears before a school hearing officer within the next 10 days, Carraway said.
At that hearing, school officials plan to recommend expulsion, she said.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
Woman charged with theft by deception
A Warrenville woman faces a charge of theft by deception after she tried to return items she did not purchase from an Evans store.
Paula Moody Padgett, 46, of the 200 block of Green Acres Park Lane, was released Tuesday from the Columbia County Detention Center on $1,100 bond. A manager at Marshalls in Mullins Crossing shopping center said she saw Padgett conceal shoes, two sets of drapes and a set of linens in a bag.
The manager said Padgett then went to the front of the store to exchange the goods.
Woman says someone has used her identity
An Evans woman told deputies Monday someone opened an account to rent a storage unit in another state, using her personal information.
The 53-year-old from the 4500 block of Guildford Court said a bill addressed to her was mailed to relatives in Valdosta, Ga., from a storage unit company in Maryland. The bill was for $2,544 in back rent. No suspects were listed.
Change, Rolex stolen from house in Evans
An Evans man told deputies Monday that someone broke into his home and stole money, jewelry and electronics.
The 54-year-old from the 600 block of Barberry Court told deputies the theft occurred between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday.
The man listed five rolls of quarters, a women's Rolex gold watch and a Global Positioning System as stolen from the house.
Deputies reported finding no signs of forced entry.
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