Family living in fear after being threatened with shotgun

Family living in fear after being held at gunpoint

CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - A Cusseta family told News Leader 9 they are living in fear after a man walked inside their vacant rental property, held them at gunpoint, and threatened to kill them.

Valerie Ghant says it all started when she, her mother and her stepfather went to Ghant's mobile home at 489 Broad Street. They went to change the locks on the doors after a tenant allegedly refused to return the keys. The tenant had recently moved out.

"Her father and mother came here and started charging down the hill and I said this man is coming here with a gun," said Timothy Owens. "He barged through the door and said, "get down...and threatened to kill us and I'm disabled. He made me lay down."

Ghant, the property owner, says the tenant didn't want to sign a lease agreement."I had no problem with that. She gave me a tentative date and I asked her for my keys."

Ghant says she believes asking for the keys sparked the conflict. But 20 minutes after being on the floor-- she says an officer showed up, but did nothing.

"He failed to protect and serve us," Ghant said. "I feel like an arrest should have been made, because it's clear you cannot take the law into your own hands."

We went to the Chattahoochee County Sheriff's Department where the deputy worked. The Sheriff says he wasn't aware of the issue and the clerk couldn't find a copy of the report.

However, the officer did take both sides before a judge the same day. The case was continued until May 31 to give the plaintiffs time to get an attorney.

We also spoke with Assistant Chief District Attorney, Alonza Whitaker from the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit--he said law enforcers can use their own discretion in filing incident reports, according to their own policies and procedures. But, he also added it's a better practice to document any disturbances.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.