The Kalonji family had just closed on a foreclosed home and were told by their real estate agent they should go over to the house and change the locks.
But when Jean Kalonji and his wife, Angelica, started working at the home, an armed man and another person who appeared to be the man’s son allegedly confronted them.
“He say to put the hands up and get out from the house, otherwise he would shoot us,” the husband told Channel 2.
The neighbors didn’t believe the couple when they told them they had bought the home and called the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. The Kalonjis didn’t have the closing papers with them, so deputies arrested them, charged them with loitering and prowling and took them to jail.
Jean Kalonji came over to America from the Congo. The local George Zimmerman wannabes, of course, didn't.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office has apparently come to their senses on this one, though:
A Newton County man and his son who authorities said held a gun on the new owners of a neighboring home were arrested Monday night and charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal trespass.Porterdale resident Robert Canoles said he has no second thoughts about interrupting what he thought was a robbery in progress Thursday night at his neighbor's house -- though he is now facing criminal charges just days after deputies lauded his armed response.Hooray, I guess? It's hard to get too excited when the armed folk were allowed to walk while the unarmed folk were arrested by the officers on the scene, especially given the pictures of each couple at that second AJC link, but at least someone eventually made the right call. This is the part that made me sick to my stomach though:
Canoles said he and his teenage son heard noises from the once-foreclosed home next door, vacant for seven months. They grabbed their AR-15s and snuck up behind a man and woman fiddling with the front door lock.
"I don't know what they can charge me with," Canoles said late Monday afternoon, before the interview with authorities. "This is my Second Amendment right. Look, this is the country out here, and we protect our own."You can try to read that as neighbours watching out for neighbours. You can try to assume that if Jean Kalonji had actually been Jan Kruger, a white middle-aged immigrant from South Africa, he would have gotten the same reception from Canoles. But it's a very difficult assumption to make.