Car smashes into Valdosta house; man in custody

Car smashes into Valdosta house; man in custody
Cynthia Nelson
Cynthia Nelson

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A Valdosta homeowner had a big mess to clean up Tuesday afternoon after a car slammed into her home Tuesday morning.

Police said the driver of the car, 20 year old Jonathan Gilbert, hit the home at 920 Brookwood Pl. after trying to run over 21 year-old Dominique Herron. Herron recognized Gilbert but did not know his name and had gotten into the car with Gilbert while walking down the street nearby after Gilbert agreed to give him a ride.

The home's owner, Cynthia Nelson, was preparing to leave for a funeral just before 9 a.m. when she heard a loud boom outside her home. "I looked, and I seen this car. Then, I seen the dude run 'cross the street. I say, ' you gonna leave this other dude up in here to die or somethin'," said Nelson.

Police say Gilbert pulled a gun on Herron while he was in the car and the gun went off when the two began to wrestle over it.

"About 8:54 a.m.," said Valdosta Police Department Lt. Aaron Kirk, "we got a call about shots fired in this area, Brookwood Place and Ponderosa Drive."

Lt. Kirk said Herron jumped out of the car after the gun went off and that's when Gilbert tried to run him down with the car.

"There was a subject struck by the vehicle. He was taken to South Georgia Medical Center by EMS; non life threatening injuries."

Police say the car was rented by 32 year old Chernitha Berrian. She told detectives it was stolen, but detectives determined she was lying and Berrian was arrested for false report of a crime and giving a false statement. Berrian's 27 year old sister, Courtney Berrian, was also arrested and charged with misdemeanor obstruction.

Officers spotted Gilbert on Jamestown Dr. a few minutes after the crash. He was arrested without incident and taken back to the scene where he was identified by witnesses.

Nelson said she has lived in the house since the 70's, but given this and other events that have happened recently on Ponderosa Dr. she's ready to move.

"Yep. Make me nervous and gotta move. Gotta move. It's a bad neighborhood," said Nelson.

Chernitha and Courtney Berrian and Jonathan Gilbert all remained in the Lowndes County Jail Tuesday afternoon. seven different charges were pending against Gilbert Tuesday afternoon, including two counts of aggravated assault and two counts counts of criminal damage to property. Gilbert also had four unrelated outstanding arrest warrants.

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