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Freaky Friday

CPD Logo    The local gossip scene is all abuzz after stories of a shooting, an overturned car and an armed robbery made the rounds after Columbus Police had a hectic day last Friday. The Packet has been answering queries about a Frito’s Corn Chip delivery driver getting shot Friday morning in Sandfield. The Packet is somewhat pleased to report that, while a shooting did occur, no humans were injured.
Officers with the CPD responded to the area of 23rd St. S. and Washington Avenue around 8:45 a.m. Friday after receiving multiple reports of shots fired in the area. Officers arrived to discover Payton McCrary standing by his white utility van surrounded by interested neighbors. McCrary told police he was driving north on 23rd. Street and had just passed a group of young black males and had waved at them. Shortly after his friendly gesture, he heard several gunshots fired in quick succession. Shortly after the shots were fired, several witnesses in the area said that the three young males ran west from the scene towards the nearby railroad tracks.
CPD officers Canyon Boykin and Rebecca Lomax swarmed the area and were able to corner a group of three young black males believed to be the suspects at the dead end of Warren Street, just west of the tracks. Two of the boys ran into the nearby woods and Boykin pursued one on foot as other officers arrived in the area. Police questioned or detained at least four juveniles during the aftermath, but only released the name of Fredrick Butler. Butler was charged with aggravated assault for the shooting.
McCrary’s truck appeared to have at least two small caliber bullet holes in the rear door.
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Later that afternoon, more calls flooded into the Packet newsroom regarding a horrific three car pileup in East Columbus in which one of the drivers had pulled a gun. It just so happened that there was a three vehicle crash, but it wasn’t a pile up, and it was interesting. Shortly after 2 p.m., CPD responded to the corner of Lawrence Drive and Alabama Street in East Columbus after a westbound motorist went airborne after colliding with a UPS truck. Larry Fosberg, Sr. told officers that he was driving west on Alabama when a large UPS truck rolled the stop sign at Lawrence Streets and caused him to swerve into a third vehicle stopped in the center turning lane.
Fosberg’s 2007 Nissan Titan then ran off of the north shoulder of the road and sideswiped a wooden utility pole, forcing the truck over a five foot high embankment and into an abandoned gas station parking lot  on Alabama St. Shortly after the truck came to rest, E-911 dispatchers ordered several officer to the scene after one of the men involved told operators that, “if he dares to come near my car, I’m prolly gonna shoot him.”
Although CPD did not release which driver made that statement, witnesses who spoke with The Packet on scene did describe Fosberg as “visibly upset.” Charles Ellis, the UPS driver, told police he did not see Fosberg coming because he must have been in the large truck’s blind spot. Fosberg and a passenger, who appeared to be returning from a trip to the grocery store were treated by EMT’s on scene and were said to have suffered moderate neck and back pain.
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The best story of the day come from a call made to E-911 by a frantic caller who said he had just been robbed in the K-Mart parking lot. The rumor mill had a field day with this one, with speculation ranging from a kidnapping to a sophisticated armed robbery. CPD and deputies with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office raced to the area of the alleged armed robbery shortly before 3 p.m. in search of what the victim described as “two black males with white t-shirts” running from the K-Mart parking lot. (Incidentally, I happened to be in the area after responding to a log truck rollover by Rite Aid on Highway 45 North,  and- you guessed it- that call turned out to actually be a pickup truck that had lost about 8 boards from it’s bed when it turned on 45 from 18th Ave. N- CK.)
After authorities searched surrounding apartment complexes around 31st Ave. N, investigators speaking to the victim radioed in to stand down. After the victim had told police the third or fourth version of how the robbery went down, he finally admitted that he was, in fact, the unfortunate victim of a “Flim-Flam” scheme. According to CPD, “He said he picked up a guy at Sunflower on Military Road and went to BMH-GT where they met another male subject who said he worked at the hospital. The victim said the first male he picked up said he was from out of town and needed to put some money in the bank, but did not think they would because he was from out of town. The victim said the person had, what appeared to be, over $100,000.00 in a brown bag. He said they asked him to go to his bank and withdraw his money and they would give him some of the money plus his money. He said the person told him his father died and left him the cash. The victim said he went to his bank and withdrew undetermined amount cash and gave it to them in exchange for the other money in the paper bag. He said when he opened the bag, there was only a roll of toilet paper and the two males ran from the parking lot. He said he called 911. The victim was not robbed, he got caught up in a scam and lost his money.”
No charges were filed in the incident.

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