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Holiday uneventful; July 3 busy
Authorities expect an active weekend
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Forsyth County News

The Fourth of July was relatively uneventful for local public safety personnel.

“It was a very quiet day and refreshingly so, considering the tragedy in the prior weeks,” said Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers in reference to recent fatal car and boat wrecks. “But from a fire perspective, we had very little activity on July Fourth.”

Cumming Police Sgt. Bryan Zimbardi said the holiday was largely injury free, even with the 55th annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade lumbering through town.

“The parade went really well,” Zimbardi said. “There were no incidents or anything with that, so we were pretty happy that it went off without a hitch.”

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Tim House said the agency has been busy “answering multiple calls through the last 48 hours.”

“A lot of them have been associated with fireworks and that kind of thing,” said House, adding that the fireworks calls didn’t involve any injuries just noise.

House went on to say that the sheriff’s office is “considering this to be a long holiday weekend period that started on Tuesday evening and probably will conclude on Sunday.”

“We have our special ops out and they are manning the parks and making sure all the county ordinances and state laws are being followed,” he said. “In addition, we’ve done some safety checks for seatbelts and child restraint violations.”

It was a different story for authorities the night before the Fourth of July.

“We were very busy,” Shivers said of Tuesday’s activity.

Heavy storms arrived about 7 p.m. and dumped nearly an inch of rain across the county over the next several hours.

“Throughout the night we had multiple motor vehicle accidents that kept our units busy,” Shivers said. “We also had one confirmed lightning strike structure fire that we worked for several hours. There were no injuries, but it did cause some damage to a single family home.”

The city, which plays host to an annual fireworks show July 3, had its share of incidents that night as well, including an alleged confrontation at the Cumming Nursing Center.

“According to the victim, there was a little bit of a misunderstanding,” Zimbardi said.

Both sides offered different stories, Zimbardi said, but what police know for sure is that 28-year-old Kristian Harris pulled a gun on an employee at the nursing home.

According to Zimbardi, Harris was trying to park his car at the center “and was told he couldn’t park there.”

“He then pulled out an unloaded pistol and pulled it on an employee … then put it on the dash of his car,” Zimbardi said.

Harris was arrested about 2 a.m. on charges of aggravated assault and pointing a pistol at another.

He was released from the Forsyth County Detention Center less than two hours later after posting $13,860 bond, jail officials said.

Cumming police also arrested two women after a fight early July Fourth outside a Buford Highway eatery.

“The call came out and we were told that there were two women fighting in the Steak and Shake parking lot,” Zimbardi said. “Nobody wanted to divulge to us exactly what happened.

“There were probably about 50 people in the Steak and Shake watching it, but otherwise nobody else was involved.”

The women, both of whom are in their early 50s, each face disorderly conduct and battery charges. One of them also faces a count of public drunkenness.

As of Thursday afternoon, both women had been released from the detention center after posting bonds.