Man causes big scene at Courthouse, laundromat

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Blue lights lit up the Town & Country Shopping Center in south Milledgeville Monday morning, after a Wilkinson County man reportedly pulled out a shotgun and threatened to kill a man at the laundromat property at 905 S. Wayne Street.

Prior to that, the same man is accused of causing an even more bizarre scene at the Courthouse, threatening to kill another man, parking in the middle of Wilkinson Street and shouting at a sheriff's deputy to "shoot me," according to an incident report. 

When it was all said and done, James Kendall Ayers, 32, was charged with three counts of obstruction of an officer, one count of terroristic threats and one count of criminal trespass. He was denied bond.

Ayers was listed with an Ivey address.

It all started around 9 in the morning, when the first victim was looking for a parking place in front of the courthouse. The victim said that a man in a gray Ford 150 "stopped in the street beside him and began pointing at his vehicle."

Added the incident report: "(The victim) stated he believed the male was pointing out something wrong with (the victim's) vehicle, so he stopped and rolled down his window to speak with (Ayers). (The victim) stated (Ayers) asked, 'Aren't you from Atlanta with the Atlanta tag,' to which (the victim) did not reply. (The victim) stated that (Ayers) parked his truck in the middle of the street and ran up to his vehicle while reaching his hand into his pocket. (The victim) stated he drove his vehicle away from the male and parked in front of the front of the front doors of the Baldwin County Courthouse, but (Ayers) continued to run in his direction while cursing at him and stated he would 'kill him.' (The victim) advised that he did not know (Ayers.)"

A second witness, who was near the lobby of the Courthouse, then was interviewed by investigators. According to the incident report: (The second witness) stated she witnessed the male screaming about 'starting a fire in his city.' (The second witness) stated (Ayers) was seen walking towards (the first victim) stating if he came back around, 'he would kill him like he did his brother.' (The second witness) stated (Ayers) walked into the Courthouse, screamed at a deputy in the lobby area and asked if there was a fire the night before. (The second witness) stated (Ayers) tried to walk around the metal detector, and the deputy advised he needed to walk through it. (The second witness) stated the metal detector alerted when (Ayers) tried to walk through it. (The second witness) stated the deputy stated she would deploy her taser, and (Ayers) replied 'shoot me.' (The second witness) stated the male finally left the location soon after the deputy told him to leave."

Investigators then interviewed a third witness. According to the incident report: "(The third witness) stated he observed an unoccupied gray in color Ford F-150 parked in the middle of North Wilkinson Street in front of the Baldwin County Courthouse with its driver door opened. (The third witness) stated he saw a white male exit the Courthouse and turned toward him screaming that something was burning and asked, 'Do I need to to go to Harrisburg?' (The third witness) stated (Ayers) jumped in his direction and then ran to his truck and left the location at a high rate of speed."

A truck matching the description then was spotted in the Town & Country Shopping Center, south of the Piggly Wiggly and north of the Dairy Queen, and law enforcement officers responded in large numbers. Ayers was "irate at the entrance of the laundry mat." An officer then drew his gun, according to an incident report, and waited for "additional officers to arrive." After several minutes, Ayers began walking towards his truck. A taser was deployed, and Ayers "fell to the ground, where he rolled before standing and running." A foot chase then ensued, as Ayers began running in a little circle around the laundromat. Ayers eventually was tackled and handcuffed.

Ayers relayed to officers and deputies that he "may have been under the influence of an unknown substance or experiencing a mental health crisis or diminished mental capacity." An ambulance was called out but Ayers "declined their assistance.

A shotgun then was found in the passenger seat of Ayers' pickup truck.


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