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.”

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