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Vigilant citizens in Athens help police nab fleeing criminal


By Joe Johnson

A vigilant husband and wife from Athens Sunday night helped to catch a man who was running from three law enforcement agencies.

The activity began after a suspect ran away from sheriff’s deputies in Morgan and Oconee counties, where Lt. Shaun Barnett of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said the suspect was wanted for entering vehicles and auto theft.

When the suspect ran into Athens-Clarke County, the Georgia State Patrol became involved and sent an Aviation Unit to assist in the search, which also included a police K 9 unit, Barnett said

When the suspect made it to the Holly Hills neighborhood, in the vicinity of Timothy Road and Epps Bridge Parkway, police received a 911 call from a woman who said that her husband had spotted a man in their neighbor’s yard and that the man ran into the woods in the area of Kings Road and Canterbury Drive.

The woman said that she remained on the line to give police the suspect’s description and direction of flight, and that not long afterward “an onslaught of police” arrived in the area, and later learned from a 911 dispatcher that the suspect had been caught and arrested.

“The GSP Aviation Unit advised that the individual entered a residence and a vehicle in that area,” Barnett said. “The individual continued to flee from officers on foot but was eventually taken into custody after a successful deployment of a Taser.”

The suspect, identified as Simeon Immanuel White, 21, of Atlanta was charged with first-degree burglary, loitering/prowling, and obstruction. Other agencies have placed holds on his release from custody.

Without having to worry any more about a criminal prowling through her and neighbor’s yards the woman said, “I know that I can sleep better tonight. It is so important that we all stay vigilant and report any suspicious activities.”

She added, “You can never be too safe.”

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Not one those, "no one knows anything" situations.

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