The worst neighbors in Newton County


Last Thursday in Porterdale (approximately 35 miles east of Atlanta), Jean-Joseph and Angelica Kalonji arrived at their son’s just-purchased home to change the locks for him. Vacant for seven months, the home and the 11 acres of land on which it sat were in foreclosure.

This is the part of the story where I would like to type “Their neighbors looked out their window, saw an older couple at the front door, then walked across the street to extend a welcoming hand and inquire if they prefer tuna or chicken casserole.”

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Robert and Brandon Canoles instead grabbed their AR-15 rifles (the civilian version of the military’s M-16 rifle) and approached 61-year-old Jean-Joseph and 57-year Angelica as if they were burglars. They held the couple at gun point until police arrived.

This is the part of the story where I would like to type “Police arrested Robert and Brandon Canoles for false imprisonment, trespassing and aggravated assault.” Instead, police arrested the Kalonjis. According to the Kalonjis, police ignored their plea to call their son to clear up the confusion.

I haven’t spent a lot of time in Newton County. Have you? If so, maybe you can tell me why police doubted the Kalonjis. Has there been a rash of burglaries there committed by 60ish married couples armed with screwdrivers and locks?

Luckily, no one was physically hurt and Newton County Sheriff’s Department figured out what happened and released the Kalonjis from jail.

This is the part of the story where I’d like to type “Robert Canoles acknowledged he and his son made a terrible mistake and apologized profusely to their new neighbors. ” Instead Canoles is being a jerk. “This is my Second Amendment right,” Canoles told the AJC yesterday. “Look, this is the country out here, and we protect our own.”

For the record, the Constitution does not allow you to hold your neighbors at gun point at their front door because you are suspicious of them.

Newton County corrected its error and last night Robert and Brandon Canoles turned themselves in to police. They’ve been charged with aggravated assault, unlawful imprisonment and criminal trespassing.