Police arrest man with foot fetish
Joey William Leaphart, 42, of Langley, was arrested by North Augusta Public Safety on Feb. 17, just days after he was accused of approaching women to kiss and smell their feet at an Aiken Walmart, police said.
Leaphart is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to committing a lewd act on a minor in 2000. Court records show he sucked and licked the toes of an 11-year-old girl in Langley.
In 2002, jurors found Leaphart not guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature after he was accused of forcing himself on a 22-year-old woman’s foot.
On Friday, Leaphart was arrested and charged with soliciting for contribution after approaching women in North Augusta Plaza and asking for money, according to North Augusta Public Safety.
“Whereas, Leaphart has not yet been connected to any criminal misconduct stemming from North Augusta’s solicitation incident, officers with Public Safety believe his behavior to be odd and suspicious,” Public Safety spokesman Lt. Tim Thornton said in a news release.
Anyone with a similar personal interaction with Leaphart is asked to call North Augusta Public Safety at (803) 279-2121.
A woman called police Feb. 20 after she discovered her clothes and television had been thrown outside and covered in bleach by a man she knew.
According to an incident report, the 42-year-old man asked her to pick up belongings she’d left in his closet on Royalette Drive.
When the woman, 35, arrived at the home shortly before 3 p.m., she found her clothes had been cut with scissors, dumped in a trash can outside and covered with bleach. A flat screen television had also been doused with bleach.
Police estimated the damage at $2,000.
Men arrested in robbery and kidnapping
Two men were arrested Thursday in connection with a Feb. 6 armed robbery and kidnapping in North Augusta.
Jodeci Jaquanis Johnson and John Antwoin Ways, both 18 and of Aiken, were sought for the kidnapping and armed robbery of six people at a home on East Martintown Road.
Both suspects have been charged with several counts of armed robbery, kidnapping, assault and battery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
A third suspect, who has not been identified, has not been caught. Anyone with information is asked to contact North Augusta Public Safety at (803) 279-2121.
Man attempts to break into car
A North Augusta woman called police after an 18-year-old man tried to break into her car shortly after 7 p.m. Feb. 18.
The woman said the man, later identified as Mark Ervin Worthy Jr., of the 100 block of Nutgrove Drive, approached her in the parking lot of Bi-Lo on Edgewood Drive and told her that he had been jumped and needed a ride to his home, according to a North Augusta Public Safety incident report.
Worthy then tried to break into her car, which prompted her to call police and inform a manager at the grocery store.
When officers arrived, they removed a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun from Worthy’s right sweatshirt pocket.
After he was read his Miranda rights, Worthy told officers that he had been jumped earlier by unknown persons and was dropped off in the parking lot by several unknown females.
Worthy said he decided to go into a vehicle and take the handgun from off of the seat in the vehicle, the report stated.
The officer noted in the report that Worthy “did not know what vehicle he took the handgun out of and his story did not make any (sense).”
Worthy was charged with disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Officers led on chase to Augusta
North Augusta Public Safety officers were led on a short chase into Augusta on Feb. 21 by a 25-year-old man after he stole a vehicle from Murphy USA gas station on Knox Avenue.
According to an incident report, officers were called to Walmart shortly before 10 p.m. for a shoplifting in progress.
When an officer arrived, he saw several people standing next to a vehicle in the parking lot and asked them to step back toward his patrol car.
One of the people, identified as Kevin Dearing Rodgers, of the 100 block of Concord Street, fled toward the gas station.
Another officer arrived and saw the suspect enter a vehicle that was parked, but running, with the driver-side door open.
The officer ordered Rodgers to get out of the car, but instead, he drove out of the parking lot onto Knox Avenue, sped up and turned left on East Martintown Road.
Rodgers then turned right onto the ramp to U.S. Highway 1 toward the South Carolina-Georgia state line.
The officer continued to pursue Rodgers to the U.S. Highway 1 and Walton Way intersection, where he was told by a lieutenant to terminate the pursuit, but to follow at a safe distance to give Richmond County Sheriff’s Office the last known location of Rodgers and the vehicle.
After contacting the agency, the public safety officer returned to the gas station and met with the vehicle’s owner, who had stopped at the gas station to purchase cigarettes.
At Walmart, the first officer to arrive found a pair of jeans in the vehicle. Amber Lynn Krepps, of the 100 block of Cato Road in Warrenville, admitted to stealing the jeans from Walmart and told officers that the man who fled was her brother. She was charged with shoplifting.
Warrants were taken out for Rodgers for disobeying a lawful order, larceny of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for blue lights and siren, trespassing after notice and driving under suspension.