A posse was formed in Dodge County, Georgia, and it stopped a robbery.
In a scene reminiscent of a John Wayne movie, a small Georgia town was unwilling to let a bad guy win. The town, Rhine, is a small town and apparently has a whole lot of gusto, and Dodge County is known for its no-nonsense nature and strict adherence of the law.
Although there is no bullet-riddled sign at the entrance of the town issuing a warning to all would-be criminals, the notice is apparently understood by those who live near or routinely pass through Rhine.
When Ken Lowery, 60, walked into a Rhine convenience store just after 2 p.m. in November, he was met by a woman screaming that she had just been robbed, according to WGXA-TV. The store employee said the suspect was armed and had taken all the money from the register.
Lowery thought that he had just passed the alleged armed robber as a young man was walking rather nonchalantly down the sidewalk outside the store. The suspected criminal, now identified as Damian Durham, 24, of Wilcox County, had been in the midst of what he might have thought was an easy and slow getaway.
People just kept coming around and they were mad, people in Rhine were mad. Here we had an armed robbery in the middle of the day at Aden’s and they wanted to form a posse. We didn’t have no leader of it all, we just went all our separate ways and the people in Rhine, they knew there were going to get that rascal.
The Dodge County posse was reportedly composed of about 20 people, most of them armed. They spread out around the Rhine area, both on foot and in pickup trucks, and searched for the armed robber. Lowery, a retired corrections officer, was the posse member who ultimately found the suspect approximately 200 yards away from the crime scene. He fired a warning shot with his hunting rifle and the suspect “stashed his gun and money” and hid inside a shed that was located close by, according to the local hero’s statements.
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on the scene quickly and arrested Damian Durham. Sheriff’s office Major Donald Helms calls the posse and capture of the robbery suspect a story of just some “good guys with guns” and small town people exercising their Second Amendment rights.
“You might not want to come down there and mess with the Rhine folks. The citizens of Rhine conducted themselves well and no one got hurt,” he told WGXA.
Major Helms also noted that further investigation in Durham’s past revealed that he had allegedly gone into the CB&T Bank and ordered a teller to open her window. When the female staffer refused, he allegedly left the bank and opted to find an easier target. Bank employees tried to call the store immediately and warm them about the suspicious man, but he made it inside Aden’s too quickly. Durham reportedly pointed a small caliber handgun at the store clerk and demanded money.
Carter Clements, also a member of the Rhine posse, issued a stern warning to those who might come through the Georgia town and be up to no good, “Don’t come to Rhine and mess with us, because if you do, we’re going to mess with you.”
After the bad guy was in handcuffs, Lowery and the rest of the posse went back to their daily lives.
“A nice lady like that working at Aden’s, trying to make a living, and some thug comes in there trying to rob her, people in Rhine ain’t going to put up with that,” the retired corrections officer added.
In some cities, Lowery’s gun warning and the formation of the posse would have resulted in criminal charges being filed against the civic-minded citizens. The common sense response by Dodge County law enforcement officers was merely to issue a thank you, and not a court summons.
How do you feel about the Rhine posse and the capture of the Dodge County armed robbery suspect?