Athens custody dispute leads to felony car hijacking and battery charges


Ketorry Anterrin Barnett

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man is wanted on felony charges after allegedly assaulting a woman during a custody dispute and then stealing her car.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, the incident occurred Wednesday night at Pinewood Apartments on Bailey Street, where the 25-year-old victim went to meet Ketorry Anterrin Barnett, 28, of Hickman Drive.

The couple have children together but were no longer romantically involved, police said.

“They began to argue over custody issues when Ketorry charged her and punched her repeatedly until she was on the ground bleeding,” an officer wrote in the report. “At one point she tried to pepper spray him but he took it from her and she thinks he pepper sprayed her because her face weas burning.”

While the woman was on the ground bleeding, she said that Barnett took the keys to her 2010 Honda Accord and sped off in it and abandoned it nearby, on Grove Street, where Barnett got into a blue vehicle, according to the police report.

$500 that had been in the victim’s car was missing, the report noted.

When the responding officer saw the severity of the victim’s injuries, which included a laceration on the forehead and a “busted-up chin,” he a requested an expedited ambulance response, according to the report. The victim was subsequently transported to the hospital.

Officers searched the area but could not locate Barnett. However, according to the report, they came across the suspect’s mother driving around the area because Barnett had called her.

“She was uncooperative,” the report noted.

The officer took out arrest warrants charging Barnett with hijacking a motor vehicle, theft by taking, and felony battery under the state Family Violence Act.

At the time of the incident, Barnett was on probation for a family violence incident last July involving the same victim, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.

As of Friday afternoon, Barnett had yet to be arrested for this week’s incident.

Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting http://www.project-safe.org.

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