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Police Blotter

Posted: Sunday, July 04, 2010

Teens to be charged after pipe bomb explosion


Two Augusta teens face Columbia County charges after being injured Thursday by a homemade pipe bomb.

Matthew Cornelison and Stuart Sims, both 17, were taken to Doctors Hospital for treatment of chemical burns from chlorine.

The two set off the pipe bomb made from PVC pipe somewhere in McCormick County, said Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris. They then placed the remnants of the device in their Dodge Dakota Sport pickup and tried to drive back to Augusta on Furys Ferry Road.

"Whatever chemicals they had, they put it back in their truck," Morris said.

Cornelison and Sims stopped at the Wife Saver Restaurant at North Belair Road and tried to wash off the chemicals in the restaurant's restroom, when one of them started experiencing respiratory problems, Morris said.

Emergency medical workers called for assistance from Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue, which brought a hazardous materials vehicle to the scene and gave decontamination baths to both teens.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office bomb squad was called to handle the device, but only to make sure it no longer posed a threat, said Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Danny Kuhlmann.

The McCormick County Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office are cooperating on the investigation, Morris said, adding that an Augusta home was searched by Richmond County investigators shortly after the incident.

Worker electrocuted when live wire strikes him in face

A Hoschton, Ga., electrician died Thursday after he was struck in the face by a live wire in front of a Martinez residence.

William Bret Ward, 45, was hit in the forehead by a live wire at about 10:30 a.m. while working on a ground transformer at a home on the 3900 block of Braddock Street, Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said.

"(He) was pulling a wire into it and apparently his head came in contact with the current, and it electrocuted him," Collins said.

Ward, a worker with Utility Lines Construction Services Inc., was wearing protective gloves and rubber sleeves when the wire hit him, Collins said.

Ward's co-workers performed CPR on him until Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue and EMS crews arrived at the scene.

Ward was pronounced dead at about 11:30 a.m. at Doctors Hospital.

3 men, including victim, arrested after shooting

Three men, including the victim, were arrested in connection with a home invasion, robbery and shooting Tuesday in Martinez.

Just after 6 a.m., Ronald Rayford Wynn, 31, called police to Ridge Crossing Apartments to report a home invasion. He said he had been shot in the forearm by three men wearing ski masks who had forced their way into his apartment just before 2 a.m., according to Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

Police arrested Wynn on Tuesday afternoon and charged him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, Morris said.

Also on Tuesday, police charged Brandon Sakel Ross, 22, of Augusta, with armed robbery and aggravated assault. Police charged Winston Cornileus Martin, 22, of Augusta, with the same charges Wednesday.

All three men are being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at

Woman threatens other driver after road rage

A Hephzibah woman told police Wednesday that a woman threw a bottle at her car and threatened her with a knife.

The 26-year-old said she and a female passenger were riding east on Washington Road near Ronald Reagan Drive just before 7 p.m. when a Toyota Yaris cut them off. The Toyota driver threw the glass bottle, which hit her GMC Yukon.

The woman followed the Toyota into a nearby neighborhood to get her tag number. When the vehicles stopped, the GMC's passenger got out and argued with the other driver, who then pulled a knife and drove away.

Expensive surveying equipment is stolen/p>

Someone stole $23,700 worth of surveying equipment from an Evans construction company.

The supervisor for Garnto and Gearig Construction said that about 12:30 p.m. Monday, he noticed that a GPS transmitter, a booster and a tripod were missing from a construction site on International Parkway near Grovetown.

The equipment had been set up in an area away from construction, he said.

Woman says boyfriend's sister pawned television

A Harlem woman told police Wednesday that her boyfriend's sister stole and pawned her television.

The 23-year-old, who lives with her boyfriend and his sister on G.R. Tucker Road, said the sister came into the room that the couple rents from her and stole their $500 TV set.

The couple found the television later that day at an Augusta pawnshop.

Woman catches 2 men in act of stealing property

An Evans woman chose not to press charges against two men she caught stealing from her father's property.

The 83-year-old said that as she turned into the driveway of the property shortly after noon Monday she saw the men trying to leave in a truck with a park bench and homemade trailer belonging to her father.

She blocked the vehicle in the driveway and called police. She told police that she has power of attorney over the property and that the men did not have permission to remove the items.

The men told police that a third man told them about the property and that no one lived there.


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