A single post on a community bulletin board of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA-CSRA) has disturbed, confused and baffled thousands of people throughout the Augusta area this week.
Some are terrified. Some are alarmed. And some are wondering what really happened.
Greg S., a former investigator with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, posted on The Austin Rhodes Show Facebook page, “Too many questions unanswered. Not ready to jump on this band wagon yet.”
“I’m with Greg,” Pat J. commented. “Something smells here, too many questions not asked and answered. NUFF said.”
By Monday morning, more and more people were questioning the woman’s account of what happened to her husband.
“I’m throwing the B.S. flag on this one,” Steve E. wrote on The Austin Rhodes Show Facebook page. “Don’t believe everything that you read.”
“As my dad used to say, something about this just doesn’t pass the smell test,” Kim B. stated.
“So what the f*** is in season in SC right now that would bring hunters in to the woods anyways?” KJ wrote. “I don’t carry in the woods, but I couldn’t blame a rider for doing it. Especially if he/she is riding alone.”
Speculation continued much of the morning until the McCormick County Sheriff’s Office released the incident report filed by the alleged victim.
The cyclist from Lexington, S.C., told deputies that he was alone biking in the woods around 9 p.m. on Saturday night when all of a sudden he was knocked off his bike by a rope of some kind that was stretched out between two trees.
The cyclist said he “must have hit his head on something” because when he was finally able to open his eyes, there were three men that were assaulting him. He told the deputy that one of the men was attempting to take his shorts off to sexually assault him, while the other two were “waiting their turn.”
The alleged victim then said he reached up to elbow the unknown subject in the face and ran away.
As he was trying to get away, the cyclist told deputies that one of the suspects shot at him.
In order to protect himself, the incident reports states the man “shot back with a 40 Glock that he had in his possession.”
The deputy asked if the Lexington, S.C., man needed medical attention, but he refused. He was also offered a ride in the deputy’s car back to his own vehicle, but the cyclist again refused.
The incident report states the cyclist decided to walk back on his own because “he had urinated on himself and he did not want to get (the officer’s) seats wet.”
When they arrived back at the man’s vehicle, the cyclist requested that the deputy “contact bloodhounds and helicopters and go back into the woods to find the unknown subjects” and retrieve his bike.
But the officer said that it was too dark in the woods to return and the county did not have the manpower or resources to perform such a search at that time.
The cyclist told the deputy that he did not know what the subjects looked like, only that “they were wearing camouflage and had part of their faces covered, but could tell that they were white.”
The deputy again offered the cyclist medical attention, but he refused.
Instead, he called his wife and told her what had happened and informed the deputy that his family was driving from Lexington County to pick him up.
As a result, the deputy drove the cyclist to the 88 Mart in Clarks Hill to wait for his family to arrive.
In the end, the incident report seemed to create more questions than provide answers for many people throughout the community.
Why was the cyclist alone on the trail after dark? How could he possibly be knocked off his bike by a rope stretched between two trees and not be seriously injured?
The woman claiming she was his wife on the SORBA bulletin board said the attackers were “slamming his head into the dirt, which eventually ripped off his helmet.”
That detail did not make it into the incident report.
What were three men dressed in full camouflage hunting in late July?
Even the McCormick County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed this week that there is no hunting season currently open.
The incident report states that the victim was carrying a .40 Glock with him while cycling. That’s a large caliber gun. Where was the cyclist carrying that gun? When he was thrown from his bike and temporarily knocked out, how was able to reach the gun?
Especially considering one of the attackers was allegedly attempting to take his shorts off.
Perhaps he was wearing a fanny pack, where he could have possibly had his gun, phone and wallet right by his waist.
But there are still a lot of unanswered questions that have even members of the local law enforcement questioning the alleged attack.
“Would you go riding on the trail at 9 p.m.?” asked one McCormick County deputy, who did not wished to be named in the story.
The McCormick County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that it, along with the forestry department, hadn’t found much evidence relating to the alleged attack along the biking trail.
In fact, they had found only one spent shell casing.
The only person who can really fill in the blanks as to what happened this past Saturday night is the alleged victim.
The Metro Spirit attempted to reach the cyclist from Lexington, S.C., whose name was redacted from a sheriff’s office incident report, on several occasions following the alleged attack.
The cyclist did not return any of the Metro Spirit’s phone calls and, when a reporter drove to his home in Lexington, S.C., earlier this week, no one answered the door.
Meanwhile, the entire Augusta area is left wondering: What really happened in the wooded trails in McCormick County? Are there “Deliverance”-like hillbillies waiting in the woods? Or has someone just been watching too many movies?
It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than three years since anyone’s heard her sarcastic laugh or seen her brilliant smile. She had her dad’s twisted sense of humor and her mom’s loving heart. Jordan White was fearless, beautiful, hilarious and full of life. There isn’t a day that goes by
Next time your paper decides to comment on how the quote local residents are thrilled about getting this water park, maybe you should talk to the real local residents. The ones in the neighborhood right next to this property that will have to deal with the noise, the crime and everything else
Just last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia leads the nation in placing its citizens on probation. That’s no surprise to anyone who has been following the civil cases filed in both Richmond and Columbia counties by local attorney Jack Long alleging that the private
During the debate between District 122 candidates Jodi Lott and Mack Taylor on The Austin Rhodes Show this past week, it was definitely a conservative showdown filled with all of the favorite Republican topics. The two candidates discussed everything from the need to protect Georgia’s borders
The Texas-based energy company Kinder Morgan definitely knows how to get under the skin of William S. Morris III, the owner and publisher of The Augusta Chronicle. Allen Fore, the vice president of public affairs for Kinder Morgan, told the Los Angeles Times this year that there was a specific
A few days after the Metro Spirit had a cover story questioning whether or not Scuttle’s Island Water Park was actually going to be built in North Augusta, The Augusta Chronicle published its own story about the debate. Like almost every article written about Scuttle’s Island Water Park, it
Now that the Metro Spirit has exposed the true colors of Joe Mullins, the local entertainment promoter and former candidate for the House District 122 seat, in this past week’s cover story, it is time for Columbia County leaders to wise up. For years, Mullins has been given special treatment
This week, Paine College launched its “Build it Back: Rally to Save Paine College Campaign” promising to get the university back on track after it was recently unable to make its scheduled payroll for some employees. It was grim news for Augusta’s historically African-American college. Over the
Columbia County voters decided this past Tuesday that local businesswoman Jodi Lott and former Columbia County Commissioner Mack Taylor are headed to a December runoff in the District 122 race. It was an extremely impressive night for Lott. Just a few short months ago, very few people in
Many Augustans were shocked and deeply saddened this week to learn of the passing of Keith Buck, also known as “Daddy Keith” in the local gay community. As the longtime manager and bartender of Club Argos on Walton Way, Buck was known as everyone’s best friend because he was always open
Leslie Parker remembers sitting outside Gary’s Hamburgers on Georgia Avenue on a warm September day when a co-worker asked her, “Did you hear that North Augusta is getting a new water park?” As a mother of three small children, Parker said she was ecstatic over the news. “It had been such a
The voters in Richmond and Columbia counties have spoken and what they said during the Nov. 3 election speaks volumes. While many Richmond County citizens have expressed great frustration with the Augusta Commission, voters decided to continue to invest in Augusta by supporting the $215 million
Some locals were surprised this past week by the sudden disappearance of the Augusta Watchdogs’ Facebook page. For those unfamiliar with Augusta Watchdogs, it was a group page on Facebook that discussed a variety of issues facing the Garden City. The Facebook page, primarily led by Harrisburg
If you haven’t ever met Pam Costabile, the manager of code enforcement for Augusta-Richmond County, you’ve probably never had a problem with dilapidated houses in your neighborhood or an unscrupulous landlord who refused to fix your leaking roof. Definitely count your blessings that you’re not
“Andy has dropped off the back.” Up until then, last Saturday’s memorial service honoring Andy Jordan had been a mostly uplifting event. Sure, there were heartbreaking moments, such as when his daughter Amy had trouble beginning when it was her turn to eulogize her father. But there was a lot
Andy was such a great friend to me over the years. I met him in the mid ‘90s when I first started selling advertising for the Metropolitan Spirit and we hit it off immediately. Back then, when we would put ads together, people would have to hand us all their design elements — printed-out logos,
How do you completely disrupt an election in Columbia County? That’s easy. Just file an ethics complaint against your opponent and let the rumors fly. This past week, a supporter for Joe Mullins, the local entertainment promoter and candidate for the House District 122 seat, decided to file a
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis just doesn’t get it. He was elected into office by 75 percent of the votes cast in last year’s election. So, an overwhelming number of people headed to the polls selected him as the man for the job. Voters chose him to represent the city, receive a salary of $75,845 a
How many voters out there in Columbia County have had the pleasure of receiving a flyer in the mail from Joe Mullins, the local entertainment promoter and candidate for the House District 122 seat? If you’re not sure, you definitely haven’t gotten one. The most recent flyer sent out by Mullins
It’s that time of year again, folks. Nope. The Insider isn’t referring to the downtown fair or the Halloween season, but rather The Augusta Chronicle’s annual review of the city-issued gas cards. Each year, the newspaper tries its best to paint Augusta commissioners as clowns or devils by