This year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration was mild compared to some in the past, but several people were arrested.
According to Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, 176 arrests and one outstanding warrant arrest were made. The Prisoner Processing Center on River Street processed 120 arrestees, while the City Market post processed 56.
Of the total arrestees, 10 were juveniles and 27 were military personnel. Only 14 felony arrests were made, with 20 arrests for violation of city ordinances.
The bulk of arrests was 142 for misdemeanors. Police transported 125 people to the Chatham County Detention Center, seven were taken to court, and eight were released to military police.
One woman was arrested shortly after the parade on March 17 for DUI after speeding down Broughton Street and hitting a police barricade. On March 14, police arrested a convicted felon after he got into a fight with another person and pulled a gun.
Of the misdemeanors, 43 were arrested for disorderly conduct, 31 for urinating in public and 26 for underage drinking. Police charged one man with forgery after he attempted to use counterfeit money, two people were arrested for aggravated assault, and six juveniles were arrested for entering autos (2 counts each) on March 17. Throughout the whole festival, only one person was arrested for not having a wristband.
The strangest arrest made was a young man who got drunk and jumped into the Savannah River. He was pulled safely to shore and charged with a city ordinance forbidding people to swim in the river.
-- Savannah-Chatham Metro Police are asking the public’s help in finding a man who tried to abduct a child from a local Eastside business on St. Patrick’s Day.
Police say the man tried to abduct the child from the Wal-Mart at 4725 U.S. 80 on Whitemarsh Island during the evening. The incident was caught on the store’s surveillance video, which showed the suspect spent considerable time in the electronics section, then approached a 14-year-old girl.
The man tried to take the girl by physically forcing her to leave with him. Fortunately, he didn’t succeed and fled from the store after the victim ran to her mother.
The suspect is described as a white male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing about 185 pounds. He was wearing a blue, short-sleeved, polo-style shirt with khakis, a dark-colored ball cap and had a newly unshaven face. Police believe the suspect was driving a white, mid-sized, luxury-style SUV.
Police are trying to identify a possible witness - a white woman with blonde hair who was dressed in black. Police don’t believe she was involved in the kidnapping attempt, but say she was seen on the surveillance tape passing the suspect several times. Police hope she might be able to assist them in identifying the man.
Since the incident, police have been actively working the case and following leads. They have enhanced the quality of the surveillance video in an attempt to get the clearest picture of the suspect.
Anyone with information should call 525-2350 or Crime Stoppers at 234-2020. Tips also can be texted to CRIMES (274637). In the body, type "CStop2020" plus the tip. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash award.
The body of Larry Donnell Wingster, 37, of Savannah, was found by police on March 19 just before 9am in a field in the 7300 block of Billings Road. The victim was shot multiple times and was later pronounced dead at Memorial Medical Center.
Police are searching for a black male, approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 150-200 pounds, with a dark complexion and shoulder-length dreadlocks tied in a ponytail. Police are also looking for a late 1990s tan sedan-style vehicle with a paper drive-out tag with blue writing. Call 651-6728 or 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637).
A national hoax hit home this week, causing police to respond to several complaints about an unknown gang targeting people shopping at local Wal-Mart stores.
The complaints were received via e-mail and text messaging and alleged that a gang initiation was under way. Supposedly, anyone wanting to join the gang had to shoot someone in a Wal-Mart parking-lot.
Versions of the hoax have been circulating on the Internet since 2005. There was no evidence to support the threats in the Savannah-Chatham area, but police placed extra patrol at all local Wal-Marts. For more information about the hoax, visit http://www.snopes.com/crime/gangs/walmart.asp.