By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
4 charged in 'ambush-style' attacks
Authorities disrupt violent crime spree

Authorities have arrested four suspects in connection with a violent crime spree they say could have escalated.

Phamethius Simmons, 26, and Curtis Monaco, 25, were arrested Wednesday by the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office in Atlanta with assistance from the U.S. Marshals.

Bethany Hood, 20, and her brother, Trevor Benson, 19, both of Forsyth County, were arrested late last week.

Monaco, who also lives in Forsyth County, and Benson and Hood have been charged with three counts each of armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Simmons, an Atlanta resident, faces two counts each of the same charges.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Sgt. Joe Whirlow said investigators linked the suspects to "ambush-style" home invasions at separate residences on March 19 and 24.

A third incident reportedly occurred March 23 at a north Forsyth gas station.

Francisco Tinocor was shot in the leg during the March 24 incident, which occurred at his home on Glenwood Place off Hwy. 9.

Tinocor was taken to a local hospital, where Whirlow said he is in stable condition.

In the March 19 incident, Marco Luna was attacked at his home on Valley Drive.

According to a sheriff's report, Luna said one of two men that came to his house forced him outside onto his deck.

After he told the men he didn't have any money, one of them reportedly struck him in the head with a revolver. He was also punched in the face.

Whirlow and Sheriff's Investigator Jason Soles said the home invasions were not random and that Luna and Tinocor had been targeted.

Investigators said the third incident occurred about 1 a.m. March 23 outside the Quick Trip at Hwy. 306 and Freedom Parkway.

Simmons reportedly attempted to distract a woman pumping gas by setting her wheel on fire, authorities said.

Whirlow said Hood then tried to keep the woman's attention while Simmons grabbed a purse out of the vehicle. Their attempts to lure the woman away were not successful.

The sheriff's office continues to investigate the attacks, but Lt. Col. Gene Moss noted the encounters could have worsened if the suspects had not been caught.

"These individuals were on a crime spree and the way things were going it was just a matter of time before someone was going to get seriously hurt or killed," Moss said.