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Pet store helps veteran who saved dog from hot car

ATHENS, Ga. – The community is rallying around a veteran who was arrested after rescuing a dog from a hot car.

Michael Hammons took action after seeing a dog locked inside of a rapidly heating car at a Athens area shopping center. The U.S. Army veteran broke the window of the car to free the dog.

Afterwards – at the insistence of the dog's owner -- Hammons was arrested for criminal trespass.

UPDATE: Charges dropped against vet who saved dog from hot car

Charges dropped against vet who saved dog

ATHENS, Ga. -- Authorities have dropped charges against a military veteran who broke a window to free a dog from a hot car.

Michael Hammons, a 46-year-old veteran who says he fought in the first Iraq war, jumped into action when he saw a dog inside of a rapidly-heating Mustang at a Athens-area shopping center. He broke the window of the car with a piece of his wife's wheelchair to free the dog.

Woman accused of elder abuse at illegal care home

ATHENS, Ga. – Authorities have arrested a woman after they say four elderly men were found living in deplorable conditions at an illegal care home in Athens.

Investigators said they found the men during a search of the home at 200 Landor Drive Thursday afternoon.

According to Athens-Clarke County Police, the four men didn't have access to bathroom facilities, didn't have any food and only had a few bottles of water. They were living in a basement and were forced to use the bathroom in five-gallon buckets. They weren't allowed to go upstairs. They were allowed to go in a backyard, but were prevented from leaving.

Authorities arrested Emma Heard and charged her with four counts of false imprisonment, one count of elder abuse and a felony count of operating an unlicensed personal care home.

Hot spots still burning at Athens mill


ATHENS, Ga. -- Firefighters are still putting out hot spots at a mill fire that began in Athens Thursday night.

The Athens-Clark County Fire Department responded to the scene on Macon Highway near Puritan Lane in Athens within five minutes of the 6:19 p.m. call.

"We've got a lot of fire back there and there's collapse around it and the structure had already deteriorated a good bit," Fire Chief Jeff Scarbrough said Thursday night. "Because we can't get to the seat of the fire, it's just going to take a long time."

Man saves dog, but gets arrested anyway

ATHENS, GA (WXIA) – A man saves a dog from a hot Mustang but was arrested because of how he did it. The move landed Michael Hammons behind bars.


"I heard someone say there was a dog in distress in a hot car," he said.

Without thinking, the Desert Storm veteran jumped into action. Diane Byard says she and a group of shoppers noticed the dog in the car and were waiting on police before Hammons came.

"He says we can't let this dog die, and he starts smashing the windows.

And with his wife's wheelchair leg, he smashed the window, freeing the dog.

Athens police looking for sexual assault suspect

ATHENS, Ga. -- The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has released a composite sketch of a sexual assault suspect.

The suspect is accused of sexually assaulting a minor on Cedar Shoals Drive on Apr. 15.

Police describe the man as black, in his mid-20's, 6 feet tall and muscular, with a tattoo on his upper right arm. He may drive a black late model Dodge Charger with factory rims and tinted windows.

Anyone with information in this case is encouraged to call Det. Chris Parker at 706-613-3888 ext. 789 or the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 706-613-3342.


Athens Clarke Co. officer arrested for molesting a child

ATHENS, Ga. -- A senior officer within the Athens-Clarke County Police Department is facing a molestation charge. He was suspended on Tuesday with plans set in motion to terminate his job on May 14.


Kristin Matthew "Kris" Ward, 26, is accused of abusing a Civil Air Patrol cadet over the course of more than a year beginning in 2010. The alleged victim was 16 or younger.