Man tried to steal metal, got birdshot, sheriff says

Timothy Curran Williams, 55, of Griffin sustained face and body injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, according to Investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Williams was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Sheriff’s deputies apprehended the man’s alleged accomplice nearby -- Mark Cofino, 20, of Fayetteville, Rowan said. Both suspects have been charged with theft by taking.

The property owner who allegedly shot Williams also could face charges.

“Fayette deputies did attempt to obtain a criminal arrest warrant for aggravated assault on the property owner, but the warrant application was denied by a Fayette County magistrate judge,” Rowan said in an email. “The case against the property owner will now be referred to the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office.”

Cofino also was charged with prowling for an incident earlier Wednesday at a home on Hillsbridge Road, also in the southern part of the county.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Hillsbridge residence shortly after midnight after a homeowner called 911 to report a prowler with a flashlight looking through an outbuilding on his land, Rowan said. When confronted, the prowler fled in a Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Shortly before 2:30 a.m., deputies responded to a theft-in-progress call at a location on John Street described by Rowan as "a farm-type setting with a residential home on it."  There, they found the wounded man.

The property owner had his shotgun with him when he confronted two men in a Dodge Ram pickup allegedly stealing metal. He called 911 to say he was holding them at gunpoint.

Several minutes later, the owner called 911 to say he had shot one of the suspects with a load of birdshot, and the second man had fled. Fayette deputies picked up the other man nearby.

Williams remained at Grady on Wednesday afternoon, and an arrest warrant has been issued for him, Rowan said. Cofino is being held in Fayette County Jail on $2,600 bond.

“We are currently looking into other similar thefts in the area, but no additional charges have been taken at this time,” Rowan said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.