CENTERVILLE, Ga. - A 4-year-old boy is recovering from critical injuries after police say his mother ran him over as she tried fleeing a loss-prevention officer outside a department store Thursday evening.
Arkebia Albury, 25, is charged with child cruelty, reckless conduct and theft by shoplifting, Centerville police said. The Georgia State Patrol also has charged the woman with serious injury by motor vehicle, failure to stop at an accident with injuries, driving with a suspended license and two counts of child seat belt violations.
Police Chief Sidney Andrews told The Telegraph of Macon one of Albury's children got into the passenger side of the car, but the 4-year-old boy was run over as the woman tried fleeing.
Albury put the injured boy in the back seat, ignoring the officer's plea to leave the child still and wait for an ambulance, Andrews said. Police later arrested Albury and took the boy to a hospital.
The woman was leaving a Belk department store about 15 miles south of Macon, and authorities were unclear on what was taken.
"I believe it was a couple of T-shirts. ... It was a misdemeanor amount," Andrews said, "This certainly was not worth it."
State troopers in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama are expecting heavy traffic and stepping up patrols over the holiday weekend.
Georgia State Patrol Col. Mark McDonough said Thursday that troopers will conduct patrols on interstates and secondary highways during Memorial Day weekend.
Authorities say they investigated 326 crashes during the 2012 holiday weekend that resulted in 278 injuries and six deaths.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is stepping up seat belt and DUI enforcement and has scheduled 65 checkpoints.
Officials say 16 people were killed on Tennessee roads during last year's Memorial Day weekend, a decrease from 19 fatalities the year before.
Motorists traveling through Alabama during the weekend will see extra state troopers, as well.
The state Department of Transportation said it won't have any temporary lane closures on interstate highways from noon Friday through midnight Monday.
CANTON, Ga. - Fire department officials say a 5-year-old boy playing with a lighter started a fire in his grandmother's Cherokee County home.
Cherokee County fire department spokesman Tim Cavender told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that firefighters were called to the home in Canton just after 2 p.m. Thursday. They found heavy smoke coming from the two-story home.
Cavender said investigators determined the fire started in a bedroom and the boy admitted he'd been playing with a lighter in there.
Part of the house was damaged, but no injuries were reported.