Apr 22, 2012

(AJC) -- The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating why a couple was confronted at gunpoint by neighbors and then arrested and forced to spend the night in jail when they tried to move into the home they had just purchased.

The Kalonji family had just closed on a foreclosed home and were told by their real estate agent they should go over to the house and change the locks.

 But when Jean Kalonji and his wife, Angelica, started working at the home, an armed man and another person who appeared to be the man’s son allegedly confronted them.

 “He say to put the hands up and get out from the house, otherwise he would shoot us,” the husband told Channel 2.

 The neighbors didn’t believe the couple when they told them they had bought the home and called the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. The Kalonjis didn’t have the closing papers with them, so deputies arrested them, charged them with loitering and prowling and took them to jail.

 Yvette Harris, the couple’s real estate agent, said they never should have been arrested.

 “They rightfully own this house,” Harris said.

 Kalonji, who grew up in the Congo, said the experience brought back painful memories.

 “There, they put me down with the gun to my head, and come here, the same,” he said.

 Mark Mitchell, spokesman for the Newton Sheriff’s Office, said authorities are “looking into it, exactly what occurred, why it occurred.”


  1. Oh wow. I'm pretty sure the real estate agent gave them a key. All the police had to do was ask them to show it or at the very least they could have called the real estate agent to come out & verify ownership. SMH.

  2. The problem is that as a society we have grown to not only accept acts of vigilantism but also applaud them. The neighbors behaved that way because the media in Georgia has been making a big deal of Georgia's adverse possession law and the general public now believes that hundreds of people are just "stealing" houses legally. The truth is, adverse possession is a very technical and cumbersome way to gain possession of a property and most people wouldn't try it and those that do often fail BUT the media latches onto a case that succeeded and people get paranoid.
    As far as their actual arrest, the police have discretion when it comes to a misdemeanor or municipal charge like loitering. The smart thing to do would have been to write them a summons, release them and then order them to bring proof of their ownership to the police station before they went back to the property.
    It's a vicious circle... you have people who now feel that they are entitled to take the law into their own hands because they feel like the police are letting people get away with crimes... but in actuality, the neighbor that held them at gunpoint could be charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment. The law is only as good as the people who uphold it and while I am not the number one of fan of the police, we hire them to do a job and we need to let them do it. Instead, we have people like George Zimmerman and this gun toting neighbor who have appointed themselves as "THE LAW" and they are making situations much worse than they need to be. What happened to the days when you called the police and just looked out of your window until they arrived?

  3. I told ya !!!!! Now the neighbors have been arrested http://www.ajc.com/news/newton-county-neighbors-charged-1424231.html

    And I don't buy this bull that the neighbor thought the home was being robbed... first of all you can't rob a house, you burglarize it...secondly, the house had been empty for & months, so you knew no one was living there....what were they going to rob??? lastly, I am so sick of people yelling about their second amendment rights when they have not read the Constitution and all of the historical facts pertinent to the Second Amendment... it has just become a sounds bite. I have a second amendment right to have a gun... okay, and when you use it to the peril of someone else, you have a right to have your ### sent to jail