Man to fight charge for River Street brawl on Mother's Day - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Man to fight charge for River Street brawl on Mother's Day


What's next for the two men charged in the River Street brawl on Mother's Day Weekend?

On Monday night, WTOC first reported two warrants issued for two Atlanta men involved in the fight.

New details have been shared in this case. Metro Police will probably not actively pursue and arrest Rob Gray and Richard Barnes.

Both men live in the Atlanta area, and even if they are stopped by police in Atlanta, the chances police would travel to bring someone back to Chatham County for a misdemeanor offense for basically fighting is unlikely. However, police do tell me it's in both men's best interest to get this matter taken care of.

Efforts to contact the man who started the public campaign about what he called an attack on his family, Jim Thomas, were not returned. Thomas' brother-in-law, Gray, is facing charges.

Thomas did post a comment on his Facebook page on Tuesday, stating : "The warrant is not for fabricating any story. The SCMPD called my brother-in-law on Friday. They told him he and the other man would be charged with a misdemeanor. They are not at all interested in either of the men charged coming to turn himself in. This is a misdemeanor charge and they will not extradite. After two years the statutes will run out and this will all ‘go away'".

Savannah defense attorney James Byrne said the warrant shouldn't be taken that lightly.

"The warrant, no matter what, if someone comes in contact with them, they will be arrested," said Byrne. "But the State could turn around and accuse the case, and that tolls or stops any statute of limitation running."

If this case goes to court, and either man doesn't show up, it could be something that stays on their record for at least two years.

Gray has said he will be fighting the charge against him because he said this has not been a fair police investigation. Gray even said that the reporting of the facts presented by the police have not been fair.

Gray maintains that he and his family were attacked, and he claims they did not have drinks in their hands. Gray has obtained a lawyer and will fight the charges.

Gray said he had surgery to repair an orbital bone, and doctors put a plate in his face. He called it ridiculous to have the same charge as the man who punched him and shattered his eye.

The man that hit Gray, Barnes, also has a warrant out for his arrest.

Metro Police have not released the other group's side of the story, but Gray and Thomas have continued to use Facebook to air their unhappiness with the situation.
Thomas wrote on Tuesday: "What a load of political garbage. We have continuously asked for the police to press charges against all the others who were with that man who participated in this attack. The chief of police Tolbert and all of the investigators have still not returned a single call of mine. Not once! The city is only interested in trying to make this situation go away, and I assure you, we are not letting this go away."

Byrne told WTOC he'd offer this free legal advice.

"Exercise your right to remain silent," he said. A friend of mine has a large mouth bass hanging on his wall in his office, and underneath is the inscription, ‘I wouldn't be here either if I didn't open my mouth.'"

Police has said these are state warrants, and that it's in the best interest of the men to take care of these issues.

If they are stopped for any reason and entered into the state computer system, the warrant will show up and they'll be detained until it is addressed, but it is unlikely the local authorities would travel all the way to Atlanta to arrest either man.

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