Two teens have been arrested after shooting into several businesses during two joyrides across two counties.
James Michael Hathaway, 18, of Telogia, is being charged with shooting into an unoccupied private building and attempting to shoot into an unoccupied private building, along with felony aggravated criminal mischief. Kyle David Blankenship, 17, of Altha, is technically a juvenile, but is being charged as an adult on the same charges as Hathaway.
According to a report filed by Sgt. Brian Bateman of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, a confidential source was interviewed during an investigation into vandalism at numerous area businesses. The source advised that Hathaway and Blankenship picked her up the night of June 3 at her place of employment in Blountstown. She stated they rode around Blountstown, then headed toward Altha via SR 69. As they passed a store across from the W.T. Neal Civic Center, the girl said Hathaway fired a pump action BB gun into the business’ front window.
The following night around 11 p.m., the boys again picked her up from work. With Hathaway behind the wheel, the trio headed to Bristol. As they passed the Chevron store on SR 20, the girl said Blankenship fired a BB gun from the passenger seat of the truck through the driver side window at the store’s glass door, shattering it. The teens then traveled to the Bristol Post Office on Virginia G. Weaver Street where Blankenship allegedly fired the BB gun at the front of the building, striking a brick column. The girl said Hathaway told Blankenship to give him the gun and he’d show him how it was done. Hathaway reportedly made another pass by the post office, fired the gun and struck one of the brick columns.
The girl alleged that Hathaway then headed south on CR 12 and, as they passed the Liberty County Library, Blankenship sat on the passenger door window ledge and fired the gun across the roof of the truck into the window of the library.
The girl said they then went back to Blountstown to hang out before going to Telogia via SR 20. As they turned south on SR 65 in Hosford, Blankenship allegedly shot the BB gun at Blackburn’s Grocery Store. At that time, the girl said the store didn’t seem damaged, so Hathaway wanted to make another pass. He took another shot at the door glass, but it appeared to have no damage.
The girl said the boys told her to drive off and wait on them to call her while they surveyed the damage. Three minutes later, she returned to pick them up after they phoned. The trio then retreated to Hathaway’s house in Telogia.