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Charges coming in tree caper
Camera catches suspects topple Bradford pear, drive off
tree down 1 jd
Police are seeking four suspects who left this tall tree in the middle of Hwy. 20 after cutting it down in front of a business. - photo by Jim Dean

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A random, if not unusual, act of destruction has authorities and employees of a Cumming business stumped.

 

They want to know why two men cut down a tall tree outside Southern Cinema Design on Canton Road and attempted to drag it off behind their pickup truck.

 

"They left the tree in the middle of [Hwy. 20], then they took a right on some small residential road and the chain was behind the truck whipping back and forth hitting stuff" said Jared Wallace, sales and marketing manager at Southern Cinema. "It took out some guy’s cat, cut it in half."

 

While the motive remains unclear, Cumming Police Sgt. Bryan Zimbardi said the department plans to charge at least two people Friday in connection with the incident, which occurred about 8 p.m. June 2.

 

Zimbardi said Raymond Solano and Stanley Hendrix, both of Forsyth County, will initially be charged with various traffic-related offenses. Other charges are likely.

 

According to Zimbardi, the two men were involved in toppling the 25-foot tall Bradford pear tree.

 

The men then tied the pear tree to the trailer hitch of an older model Ford F150 with a chain and dragged it about 300 feet down Hwy. 20.

 

The suspects drove off after the tree struck a curb and came off in the middle of the busy highway, Zimbardi said.

 

He said an independent landscaping company helped police move the tree out of the way.

 

Authorities are still trying to determine who owned the tree.

 

Wallace said Southern Cinema officials plan to replace it. Still, it’s the root of the matter that remains unclear.

 

The security camera captured what happened. The suspects, Wallace said, looked like "backwood hillbillies."

 

Two women sat in the truck while the incident unfolded, but did not participate.

 

The video, which the company shared with the Forsyth County News, shows the truck traveling the wrong way down Hwy. 20 and barely missing an oncoming vehicle as it turns into Southern Cinema.

 

It also shows a man getting out of the truck with a rope or chain in his hands and walking toward the tree.

 

The truck’s muffler appears to be hanging underneath it, suspended by some kind of wire.

 

Later footage shows the truck leaving the parking lot with the tree dragging behind.

 

Check back for updates at forsythnews.com or see the next edition of the Forsyth County News.