Double L break-in prompts special thank you

News
Double L Log Cabin Grill Restaurant

Ellijay, Ga – Early in the morning of June 11, the Double L Log Cabin was victimized by a burglary just before 1 a.m.

An alarm set off at that time prompted a call from the security service to owner Lisa Dillard. Dillard says she has dealt with a false alarm before but asked them to dispatch a police response. Gilmer County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the alarm and later contacted Dillard to come to the location. Arriving at the restaurant, Dillard was not allowed inside but received confirmation there had been a break-in.

Lisa Dillard, owner of the Double L Log Cabin Grill

Lisa Dillard, owner of the Double L Log Cabin Grill

As Dillard attempted to deal with the break-in, two Deputies and Detective Scott Camp processed the scene. It looked as if someone had kicked in a back door to gain entry. Rifling through documents and mail in the back of the restaurant, Dillard said it looked as if the burglar had moved into the front area and got a drink out of the cooler.

She went on to say that she expects the burglar panicked when the alarm went off as glasses were strewn across the floor and it looked like a rock had been thrown at the inside of the front door as well as a broken chair and damage to another metal door.

Three hours later, with most of the mess cleaned up, Dillard and her husband drove home. However, an unlikely event occurred during the trip as the couple noticed a man on the side of the road walking down Highway 282 towards Murray County. Dillard tells FYN that the mans back was to them, but stuck his thumb up as if hitchhiking.

Dillard said he husband was the one who mentioned a feeling he thought this might be the same man who broke-in. The couple contacted the authorities again noting the suspicious person on the road. When a deputy investigated, they discovered stolen mail in his back pocket and matched his shoes with a print on the door.

However, this wasn’t the end of the story for Dillard. Going through her day off very little sleep due to the incident, she began thinking again of the work and effort put in by the Sheriff’s Deputies at the same hour. She was so thankful for their hard work, she posted on social media a public thank you to those involved.

Dillard called out the officers involved with the crime, but not to criticize them. Instead, she specifically notes their quick response and their dedication at the late hour operating on very little sleep. As FYN spoke with Dillard, she went further into detail saying that it turned out to be a very reassuring event with her interactions with the Sheriff’s Deputies and Detective.

According to her, the deputies she interacted with had been on duty since 7 p.m. After several earlier calls, they were then at her restaurant for 3 three hours without stopping and without leaving. She went on to say, “There is so much going on in this county that a lot of us that are just out here working, making a living, we never see it… I know how hard they work, and I know what kind of danger they have, even in our little community… It does reassure me, even with everything they have going on, that they are there for us.”

While the position of Detective and even Sheriff’s Deputy holds expectations and service for the community, sometimes that expectation gets taken for granted. As Dillard states, sometimes the community doesn’t see the details and the extra effort. Dillard wanted to take a moment in a stressful week to note the positive she experienced.

That was the thing that she said stood out most to her, “They stayed with us.”

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Man Arrested for Sexual Battery at Food Lion

News

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – East Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callihan has confirmed an arrest during last night’s incident at the Food Lion in East Ellijay.

According to the police report, Officer Harold Crowder responded to a call at 7:21 p.m. on July 1 involving a female subject being attacked in the restroom.

David James Gravley

David James Gravley

Upon arriving on the scene, the officer was escorted into the building by the store’s manager who pointed out the suspect. The report identifies the suspect as David James Gravley. Crowder’s report states that when he put his cuffs on Gravley and asked him what happened, “he stated she mumbled something that pissed him off so he hit her.”

The report also reveals that the victim stated she was in the bathroom when “she heard someone else come in behind her and as she walked out of the stall, a man grabbed her from behind…”

The victim reported that the person attacking her forcefully held her, kept grabbing her, groped her, and punched her in the face. The report also notes several injuries including blood from her nose, swelling in her face, and several scratches on her neck, throat, arms, and back.

Later, at the Gilmer County Detention Center, Gravley stated that all he would say without his lawyer was, “All I have to say is all I wanted was her money.” The report goes on to say that he later said he was broke and needed the money to buy some Marijuana.

According to the Detention Center Booking Report, Gravley is facing charges of Robbery, Disorderly Conduct, Sexual Battery, False Imprisonment, and Simple Battery.

 

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Details surface on Officer Impersonation

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Releasing information about this weekend’s incident, the County’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is continuing their investigation into an officer impersonation.

Occurring on April 21, a local student from Gilmer High School told officers she was heading home late from a Senior Trip to Zoo Atlanta and a Braves game. Getting off the bus about 1:50 am and leaving the school ten minutes later, the student directly home.

While officials are not releasing the name of the student, they did say they are trying to get as much information as they can out to the public as they need the community’s help being on the lookout for this man or for any details helping the investigation.

The student was driving home in her Nissan Maxima when she saw emergency lights activated behind her. The strange part of the traffic stop was noted by the student as she had not noticed the car behind her previously because it did not have headlights on before activating emergency lights. The “fake officer” did not introduce himself when approaching the car but instead asked the student if she knew why he had stopped her?

She told him she didn’t know, to which he responded she was running 50 miles per hour with the speed limit at 55 and her low beam headlights were on. According to the incident report, the man stated “Obviously, you are not drunk,” before returning to his vehicle. Then, he returned and commented, “Obviously I was wrong, I made a mistake.”

Ending the traffic stop, the man returned to his vehicle and u-turned onto the road heading back towards Ellijay. Lasting eight to ten minutes total, the incident had several issues that cause the student to question. Officials have also issued a public release offering advice on how to handle traffic stops with unmarked cars. Captain Brian Shepard of Gilmer County’s Criminal Investigations Division confirmed, especially with this incident, that officers in unmarked cars understand that a vehicle may continue safely to a well-lit business or public spot before stopping for the traffic stop.

While some citizens have expressed concerns about this being viewed as refusing to stop, Shepard tells FYN that these citizens need not worry. Following their advice by traveling a little further to protect yourself or contacting 911 to confirm a traffic stop of an unmarked car is part of the job of protecting citizens.

With the incident over the weekend, Gilmer’s CID is continuing investigations into the details the student was able to notice past a flashlight the man was shining on her. The report states this man could be a pale white male with blue eyes, a “five o’clock shadow” resembling growing a goatee, and sideburns covering his ears. He appeared short and stout with a flat top haircut.

The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone possessing information regarding the unmarked car over the weekend to please contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 706-635-4646 or the non-emergency number to Dispatch at 706-635-8911.

 

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Possible person impersonating an officer

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has reported an incident in which a female was stopped by an unmarked vehicle over the weekend. However, the Sheriff’s office has no record of the stop.

Though they report the female involved was not harmed and they are investigating the situation, the Sheriff’s office offered a few tips on their social media for citizens of the county to avoid risky situations. In their release, they noted these tips for use when being pulled over by an unmarked vehicle.

“If at any time you are being stopped by an unmarked vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and proceed to an area that is well lit, preferably a gas station or business with a camera. If you are in a remote area, turn on your hazard lights and call 911 to verify it is an officer making a legitimate stop.

If you are pulled over and think the person is impersonating an officer: ask for their identification or badge, ask the officer to have another person dispatched to the scene or if you’re still uneasy, just call 911.

If anyone has any information regarding the unmarked car over the weekend, please contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 706-635-4646 or the non-emergency number to Dispatch at 706-635-8911.”

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East Ellijay City Council discusses litter and police

News

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Having hired a contract employee for picking up litter on city streets, the East Ellijay City Council approved the spending for the contract. The employee is working alongside the street department and services the area for litter control. Along with the item of the employee, East Ellijay Mayor Mack West spoke to the council saying, “I, personally, feel like we need to assess different penalties for litter violations applicable to repeat offenders.”

The Gilmer county commissioners have already been discussing the item after an increase of community requests to deal with the issue. Continuing the discussion, East Ellijay is now also on board increasing response and control of the litter.

Though no official action set a specific number increasing from the current $236 public littering fine, Mayor West did ask the members of council if they would be okay with increasing the fines with none speaking out in opposition. Additionally, East Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callahan discussed speaking with officers to pay more attention to the issue and those who they see littering. This discussion came on top of officially approving the policy for litter control and having the extra employee.

Also, in the Police Department, the council approved purchasing three patrol car cameras for the department. Callahan said that with the vast majority of other law enforcement agencies already having cameras, courts are beginning to throw out cases without the video evidence supporting traffic violations. With the estimate Callahan has received, the $10,650 cost of purchasing and installing the cameras will be split. Two of the cameras will be paid out of the city’s hotel-motel fund, and the third camera will be paid for out of the police confiscation fund.

With the change in courts handling of their cases, Callahan spoke with the council about the camera purchases saying, “It’s a ‘have-to’ essentially.” Callahan is also looking to purchase another three cameras next budget year.

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Shooting at Dalton High School

News

DALTON, Ga. – The Dalton Police Department is on scene at Dalton High School where shots have been fired.

Dalton Police report that no student was injured by the shooting and all students are out of harm’s way. They also report the subject, a teacher, has been taken into custody.

The subject had barricaded themselves into a classroom earlier today before firing a weapon. Local police and Georgia State Patrol responded to the initial call. Concerning those reports that have come about a student injured during the evacuation, the Dalton Police were adamant that no student was injured by the shooting.

Police are also asking parents to NOT go to Dalton High School as they say, “The area inside the school has been evacuated and there are no students believed to be in the school at this time.”

The evacuated students have been taken to the Northwest Georgia Trade Center where police report parents should go for their children.

 

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Box truck shuts down Highway 515

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – A box truck heading north on Highway 515 stopped traffic when it wrecked late Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 27.

Authorities on scene worked quickly to clear the right lane of northbound traffic as nobody was seriously injured in the accident. The truck went off the road and came to rest on the guard rail near Highway 515 Auto Auction.

According to Gilmer County Public Safety Director Tony Pritchett, two people were in the truck at the time of the crash. At this time, Highway 515 is open to traffic again while workers are clearing the road.

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Pritchett responds to new position in Andrews

News, Police & Government

(Photo by Kelsey Richardson of the Andrews Journal)

ELLIJAY, Ga. – After a news story in the Andrews Journal today, one sentence has caused confusion among Gilmer County’s citizens and officials.

FetchYourNews (FYN) has confirmed with Gilmer County Public Safety Director Tony Pritchett that he is indeed taking a job in Andrews, North Carolina, as police chief for the department.

The Andrews Journal states, “Pritchett, who has family throughout Cherokee County, is from Gilmer County, Ga. He is transitioning from his role as the Gilmer County Public Safety director to Andrews police chief. Pritchett additionally has experience as chief of the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department.”

FYN reported the article to Gilmer County. Additionally, Pritchett has confirmed with FYN that he is transitioning away from the East Ellijay Police Department where Pritchett says he has worked shifts for eight years. Moving his police work to Andrews, Pritchett says he has taken the position for flexibility in his schedule. While he usually had night shifts in East Ellijay, Andrews will allow a less rigid schedule meaning less affect on his main position of public safety director in Gilmer, which he is not leaving.

Coming out of executive session, Pritchett was voted to be hired by the town’s Board of Aldermen. FYN has also checked with Gilmer County Chairman Charlie Paris who stated he confirmed with the town’s mayor that the new position will allow Pritchett to expand and support their police force as chief.

The Andrews Journal did report that Pritchett spoke about bringing a “good respectable and professional police force” to the city and later noted that when the new police force is hired, Pritchett would be focusing on the town’s drug crisis.

When FYN caught up with Pritchett about possibly transitioning away from Gilmer, he responded, “I love the county too much, and I ain’t going nowhere.”

The Andrews Police Department has diminished in the last year after the casino opened. Pritchett told FYN he would be adding his training and expertise to rebuild the department. While the new position will help to grow their department, Pritchett declined to say if there was a set period that he would be there saying, “As long as it is something that doesn’t take away from my responsibilities as public safety director, I don’t mind staying, helping out, and being a part of the department for a while. As long as it doesn’t place too much weight on me from here because Gilmer County, the citizens of Gilmer County, being public safety director and fire chief is my primary duty.”

Summarizing the entirety of the new position, Pritchett summed up his move as “swapping his extra job.”

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