Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A crowd gathers to watch while a grocery store is in the process of getting evicted. (WRDW-TV)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Richmond County Marshal's Office handles 20 evictions a day, but this one was a bit different.
Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree was on the scene to help with crowd control while the Laney-Walker Grocery Store was evicted on Tuesday.
Food and other products were strewn about outside as crews worked to remove everything from the store on the 800 block of Laney-Walker Boulevard while an anxious crowd watched and waited, hoping to be able to take some of the items home.
Teresa Russell, chief deputy of the Marshal's Office in Richmond County, says the owner of the building ordered that all of the food and other items removed from the store be taken to the landfill.
At the end of the day, approximately 300 people left the lot empty handed.
"This is what you do. This is ludicrous. Man, I don't like this," said Jennifer Santiago.
Cans of baby food, canned vegetables, packages of Ramen noodles and boxes of tissues were all hauled off to the landfill.
"That's showing us you don't give a damn about the City of Augusta," Santiago said.
Employees at the landfill say people waiting in the crowd followed the truck full of food to the landfill and had to be turned away.
SunTrust Bank in Atlanta is listed as the owner of the building.
Mike McCoy, a media relations officer for the company, says, "We are working with store suppliers as well as law enforcement to dispose of the remaining contents of the store and secure the building."
McCoy says the food never belonged to and does not belong to SunTrust Bank.
Russell says the process for the court-ordered eviction started in February and wrapped up three weeks later.
Store owner Sun Choi said he owes about $15,000 to the bank.