Watch group calls police on neighbor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; An ongoing problem in LaGrange Subdivision met head on with the area’s still new Neighborhood Watch group Tuesday and ended with an arrest.

Lavonne Belton, 38, 28 James Brown Ave., was arrested on two counts of simple assault after she fired a rifle four or five times in the neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s investigators said.

The incident followed a string of alleged threats from Belton on the lives of other neighbors and her attack on a juvenile in the neighborhood Monday night. The juvenile was not seriously injured.

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Sheriff Ronny Brown said his office had received numerous calls about Belton in the past and had planned to visit her on Wednesday to discuss the problems. He said she was known as the neighborhood bully.

Neighbors and members of the Neighborhood Watch group called after Monday’s incident with the juvenile and again Tuesday when the shots were fired.

ACSO deputies arrived to find Belton in possession of a .22 rifle and a .357 magnum. The rifle had been fired into the air.

Investigator Robert Brown said adults and children were in the area when the shots were fired, but no one was injured.

Tuesday’s incident happened on Lotus Drive and was connected with the Monday night events.

Robert Brown said more charges might be added.

Belton is being held on $5,000 bond.

The LaGrange Neighborhood Watch group started in late spring with several others headed up by the ACSO.

Neighborhood Watch coordinator Chuck Latham and Ronny Brown said the LaGrange group responded in the perfect way.

&uot;Neighbors don’t have to tolerate it anymore,&uot; Brown said. &uot;If they’ll call us, we’ll come.&uot;