DEVELOPING: Five now under arrest in connection with window shootings


Five individuals will face a long and serious list of charges after an early-evening vandalism spree in Downtown Cedartown on January 21 left one local driver unnerved and local business owners with thousands of dollars worth of damage to their property.

According to Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome, Polk 9-11 received a call from a female motorist around 8 p.m. Wednesday night stating that her driver’s side window had been shot out while driving down Main Street. A small child was also present in the vehicle at the time of the incident. Both the driver and the child were unharmed, Newsome reported.

Officers responding to the initial call then noticed glass shards littering the sidewalk along Main Street and found that the large display windows of several downtown businesses had been busted out. “I was down there responding to the call from the motorist, and when we got down there, we noticed that several store windows were completely gone and glass was everywhere,” Newsome said. Holmes Clothing was just one of the businesses that suffered damage. “Their entire storefront window is gone. Last night, I was able to just walk right into Holmes, right through the window. There was literally nothing left.”

Newsome said that the initial investigation revealed that the damage was caused by a low-velocity impact, created by a BB gun or pellet gun.

One of the downtown businesses hit hard last night had a video surveillance camera in operation at the time of the incident, Newsome said. “The footage showed a vehicle driving by with someone hanging out the window, pointing a gun. Two frames later, you see the window falling out. One of our officers walked to the front of the store to text a photo of the vehicle and description so we could get a BOLO going, and here comes that same car driving right past the store, I guess to come and “survey their handiwork.”

Officers gave chase to the vehicle, making a successful stop on Canal Street. 20-year-old James Preston, 17-year-old Joshua Matthews and a juvenile were taken into custody. The juvenile was later cleared of any criminal activity and was release to their parents. Later that evening, another individual, Samantha Brumit, 19, was also arrested in connection with the incident. Preston, Matthews and Brumit were charged with 11 counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree and party to a crime.

Police took out warrants on two additional suspects – Ronald Paul, 20 and Michaela Bailey, 21. These individuals were arrested this morning by Cedartown Police.

According to Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome, the list of affected property continues to grow as business owners arriving to their stores this morning are discovering damage. “We had two calls this morning and I imagine we will have a few more. These calls have been from stores that did not have a large amount of visible damage last night, but as these business owners have come in to work in the daylight, they are beginning to find damage to their property,” Newsome said.

Cedartown City Manager Bill Fann applauded local business owners for their cooperation and assistance. “Because of the video footage and the willingness of that business owner to provide the footage, our officers were able to work quickly and apprehend these suspects. We appreciate our downtown business owners’ patience as our law officers and our justice system work to resolve this case.”

Newsome said the investigation is still ongoing, but residents and business owners can rest assured that those responsible for the acts will not be given just a slap on the wrist. “This is serious. It could have been more serious. We are not going to tolerate this in our town. Every one of these individuals will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault, 11 counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree and could face more, depending on additional business owners discovering damage.”

District Attorney for the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit Jack Browning echoed Newsome’s feelings. “The district attorney’s office will not put up with this type of criminal behavior. My office is getting involved in this case from the beginning and there will be no chance of it slipping through the cracks. We plan on opposing any motion for bond in this case and our hope is to get this in front of a grand jury as quickly as possible.

Previously posted: 11:44 AM

Cedartown Police say they now have five individuals in custody in connection with Wednesday night’s rampage, where at least five storefront windows were shot out and car windows shattered.

Police chief Jamie Newsome told WGAA News that those five individuals will each face two counts of aggravated assault and at least 11 counts of criminal damage to property.  More charges could be forthcoming.

The identities of the five individuals will be made available early this afternoon, but Newsome said they range in age from 17 to 21.

Three people were initially taken into custody late Wednesday night after they returned to the scene in their vehicle.  Police quickly recognized the vehicle from surveillance footage from one of the stores that was hit.

Holmes Clothing, Price Just Right, Little Women Antiques, and A & W Appliance received the most significant storefront damage.

A woman with her child in the back seat was on Main Street when her window was shattered by the pellet gunfire.

Cedartown Police are continuing their investigation today as more damage could come to light.