Harbin plans pleas in Atlanta DUI case
State Rep. Ben Harbin intends to enter pleas Sept. 16 to resolve drunken-driving charges that have dogged him for 15 months.
Atlanta Assistant City Solicitor Warren Atkinson on Tuesday told an Atlanta Municipal Court judge he was close to reaching a deal with Harbin that would dismiss one misdemeanor charge in exchange for pleas on others.
Harbin, 44, of Evans, is charged with driving under the influence, failure to maintain a lane and failure to report striking a fixed object, the result of a late-night crash near the Capitol in May 2007.
Atkinson would not disclose which charge would be dismissed, but said Harbin's pleas would resolve the case.
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbia countyso.org:
Fraudulent check-writer sought at Target store
Police were called to the Evans Target store Wednesday after a woman has used numerous fraudulent checks in June.
Several checks were returned as fraudulent June 15-25 totaling more than $3,200. The shopper used several names to write the checks. She was taped on the video system as the fraudulent checks were used, including June 7, the date of the last bad check.
She was described as black, 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, and 215 to 230 pounds. Anyone with information about her identity is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 541-2800.
Tank damaged in gas-theft attempt
A Dearing man called police to a Martinez business Monday to report that someone had tried to steal gas from his truck.
The 45 year-old man said his Dodge Ram was parked behind Georgia Scale Co., 313 Commerce Drive, just after 6 p.m. when he saw a man trying to steal gas from it. The thief fled in a green four-door passenger car.
Police found that a hole in the gas tank and a gas can that had been left behind.
Man arrested after car next door was vandalized
An Evans man was arrested Tuesday under the suspicion that he vandalized his neighbor's vehicle.
Peter Edward Gabriel, 21, of 4800 Flagstone Court, was charged with second-degree criminal damage to property and was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center Friday on a $2,600 bond, according to jail records.
His neighbor told police Tuesday morning that someone had damaged his Saturn sometime after 6 p.m. Monday. The vandal had left scratches on the side, hood and windshield. The gas cap had been pried off and a piece of cigarette was stuck in the fuel spout.
About 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to the home again after the resident reported hearing windows breaking. He saw a man, later identified as Gabriel, running away. A sheriff's dog led deputies to Gabriel's home next door, where he was found with a ball bat.
Stolen utility cart found in woods
Police responded to an Evans home Tuesday and found a stolen utility cart hidden in the woods.
A 61-year-old man said that someone stole the $3,000 utility cart with a $430 leaf blower in back from the open garage of his Silver Lake home. Police found the cart in the woods across the street about 30 minutes later.
Police said the thief pushed it across the street and into the woods in an attempt to hide it.
Broken-down truck hit with gunshots
Police were called to an Evans intersection Wednesday after a disabled truck was shot.
The 41-year-old Evans man said he parked his Chevrolet truck on the shoulder of the road at Washington and Gibbs roads about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday because of mechanical failure. When he returned about 9 a.m. Wednesday, he found six bullet holes in the truck.
Someone fired numerous shots from a .22-caliber firearm at the truck, including two that hit the passenger window and one at the front wheel, causing damage.
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