published Monday, July 11th, 2011

Dalton police arrest man in burglary case

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Dalton, Ga., police arrested a 29-year-old man Friday and charged him with aggravated assault, forced entry burglary, impersonating a public officer and kidnapping in connection with a June 19th incident.

Lavalis Sentell Ward was arrested without incident at the Whitfield County Courthouse, where he was attending a sentencing hearing in a separate armed robbery case, police said in a news release.

Police said the June 19 incident occurred at the McGhee Place Apartments, 775 McGhee Place, at about 2:45 a.m. The victim told police he was in his apartment when two men began banging on the back door and identified themselves as being from the sheriff’s office. The resident refused to open the door, instead running out of the front door and around the side of the building, where he was confronted by two men, one of whom was identified as Ward.

Ward followed the victim into the apartment at gunpoint, while his accomplice waited outside. The victim told investigators he went into a bedroom to get his sleeping daughter while he heard Ward go through his apartment. He told investigators that, as he left the apartment with his daughter, he was struck in the head.

Ward is in custody, but his accomplice is unidentified.

Dalton police investigators also want to talk to Samantha King Sanford, 26. Sanford has outstanding warrants for burglary in unrelated cases and is wanted for questioning in this incident, police said.

Anyone with information on Ward, the identity of his accomplice or the whereabouts of Samantha Sanford is asked to call Detective Greg Bates at 706-278-9085, ext. 137.

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