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TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2007
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Burglars strike Decatur church

Burglars stole nearly $35,000 worth of property from a church in Decatur last week, Decatur police said.

The pastor at St. Andrews Church of Grace discovered items missing from the church Friday afternoon. Church members had last been there at about 5 p.m. the previous day, police said.

Among the items taken were the church blueprints, three computers, the church wardrobe, a guitar, a bass guitar, a keyboard, an organ, a public-address system, video equipment and jewelry.

The thieves broke in through the back door of the church at 109 Memorial Drive N.W.

Anyone with information can call the Decatur police tip line at 341-INFO (4636).

- Seth Burkett

Shooting may have been accident

Decatur police said the shooting of a Trinity man found bleeding outside a local pool hall appears to have been accidental.

The victim, Jamie Fielder, 20, of Trinity, remained in good condition Monday, according to hospital officials.

Fielder suffered a gunshot wound to his lower jaw in an incident Saturday afternoon. Police said people inside the Cue Club, 1926 Central Parkway S.W., told them a woman burst through the door at about 4:30 p.m. and yelled for someone to call an ambulance, then jumped into her car and sped away, leaving Fielder on the pavement outside.

Fielder was taken to Decatur General Hospital and later flown to Huntsville Hospital. He was in a regular room, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.

Detective Chris Delgado said investigators identified and interviewed the shooter and although the preliminary investigation indicates the shooting was accidental, the investigation is ongoing.

As of late Monday, no charges had been filed in the case.

- Seth Burkett

1 shot in bar brawl, Decatur police say

A disturbance at a bar early Saturday left a bystander with a bullet wound, Decatur police said.

Janadas McDaniel, 27, told police the fight broke out at Nash BBQ at about 1:30 a.m. The fight moved to the parking lot and a gunshot rang out.

Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman, said McDaniel was trying to leave, moving toward the door with the rest of the crowd, when he discovered blood on his pants.

A small-caliber bullet had struck him in the thigh. McDaniel didnít know who had fired the shot. He was taken to Decatur General Hospital for treatment.

A police officer performing a traffic stop a short distance away had also seen the fight moving outside of the building and heard the gunshot, Mathews said.

- Seth Burkett

Police say 2 beaten with bat in robbery

A man suffered injuries when he went to the aid of a friend being beaten and robbed with a baseball bat early Monday, Decatur police said.

Ventura Valladarez, 40, told police he went to a home in the 400 block of Fifth Avenue Southwest to pick up Ramario Ramos, 27, shortly after midnight.

Ramos was waiting in another vehicle when Valladarez arrived, said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

As Ramos climbed from the vehicle, a black male wearing a black ball cap and dark bandana over his face emerged from behind a storage building, Mathews said.

Valladarez told police he saw the robber strike Ramos across the face with a baseball bat and take his wallet, Mathews said.

When Valladarez intervened, the robber struck him across the ribs with the bat, knocking him to the ground, then landed a second blow on his knee. Nothing was taken from Valladarez.

An ambulance took Ramos to Decatur General Hospital for treatment.

- Seth Burkett

Couple injured when car hits pole

Two people were taken to the hospital after their car collided with a utility pole on Sixth Avenue Southeast early Monday, Decatur police said.

Police Lt. Chris Mathews said the Vinemont couple injured in the 5:45 a.m. wreck had just left Huntsville Hospital.

George Green, 38, apparently groggy following treatment at the hospital, fell asleep and slumped onto his wife, Janna Vonheiber, 40, who was driving, causing her to lose control of the southbound car, Mathews said.

The wreck between Fourth and Fifth streets flipped the vehicle onto its side, entrapping Vonheiber. Firefighters cut off the carís roof to extract her.

Both were taken by ambulance to Decatur General Hospital.

- Seth Burkett

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