Richmond County sheriff’s officers were called Tuesday to fend off crowds outside an Augusta grocery store hoping to make off with merchandise that had been set out during an eviction.
Officials estimated 200-300 people filled the parking lot at Laney Supermarket after word spread that the Richmond County Marshal’s Office was enforcing an eviction at the business.
Officials said onlookers became angry when they learned they would not be allowed to take away food and other sundries that were piled outside the grocery as “abandoned property.”
The crowd dissipated after a swarm of deputies arrived, along with Sheriff Richard Roundtree, to assist the three marshals who had been initailly assigned to the eviction.
“There is the potential to have people fighting and causing problems,” said Lt. Calvin Chew. “That’s not something we want.”
There were no arrests in the resulting confusion, but groups of people remained to watch the proceedings, many clutching empty bags and grumbling about the situation.
Tiffany Serles said she heard about the eviction from her aunt who lives nearby.
“She said they evicting Gurley’s,” Serles said, referring to the former name of the neighborhood market. “So, I came down here to get some of the stuff.”
Serles was watching with several friends while workers scooped up the food and other merchandise in trash cans which were in turn, dumped into two waiting garbage bins that officials said were destined for the Richmond County Landfill.
“It’s a shame that they are just throwing all this stuff away and not even donating it to a shelter or anything,” she said.
Johanne Vargas, an agent for property manager FirstService Residential Realty based in Sandy Springs, Ga., said she was unable to discuss the matter when asked why the groceries were not donated.
Joseph Young, who helps run a youth mentoring program in the same shopping center as the supermarket, watched marshal’s stand guard as food was tossed into the trash.
“We could have gotten some of this stuff and done something special for the kids this weekend,” Young said.
things are bad here in georgia guys, real bad.
I’m just gonna look away before I lose my cool and throw this laptop out the window