They 'calmed it with carrots'

A carriage driver was transported for treatment of injuries and five passengers escaped serious injury when the horse pulling the carriage they were in startled, crashing the coach into five vehicles in downtown Savannah Monday afternoon.

Ashley Bignault, 37, was transported to Memorial University Medical Center after 12:28 p.m. incident that started at Bryan and Barnard Streets at Ellis Square and spread over six blocks.

The tour carriage, operated by Historic Savannah Carriage, was carrying a 42-year-old woman and children age 12, 10 and 7 as well as a 67-year-old woman from Sleepy Hollow, NY. The elder woman was treated at a nearby urgent care center and released.

Officers from the Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department said "the carriage was approaching the tour terminus at Bryan and Barnard streets when the horse began running. A bridle became dislodged, making it difficult to control the horse."

The horse ran to the south side of Ellis Square and continued east on Congress Street "with the carriage striking five vehicles before the driver was ejected," police say.

The horse "reversed course to Whitaker Street and eventually turned down Congress Lane where employees of a restaurant caught it near Bull Street and calmed it with carrots. " No injury to the horse was reported.

• A Savannah man has been arrested "after a foot chase with Downtown Precinct Patrol officers and detectives following the shooting of a woman in her Yamacraw Village apartment Wednesday," police say.

Brian Aaron Keith, 24, of 5016 Gerald Avenue, has been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, obstruction and reckless conduct after the 2:14 p.m. shooting.

He was arrested after running from the apartment on the 400 block of Yamacraw to the Greyhound/Chatham Area Transit bus station on West Oglethorpe Avenue. "He then ran north on Ann Street until he encountered arriving Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police officers responding to the shooting," police say.

Keith has a history of arrests by Metro Police dating to 2007 and was released by the Georgia Department of Corrections in March 2011 after serving five months of a two-year, six-month sentence for terroristic threats and acts.

"Investigators learned a pistol in his possession fired on Wednesday, striking a 22-year-old woman," police say. She was transported to Memorial University Medical Center with non-life threatening wounds.

• Police are investigating the shooting death of a Savannah man in his car.

Michael Willard James, 31, was found dead in his SUV in the yard of a house on the 600 block of West 58th Street just after midnight. The SUV had crashed into car parked in the yard, igniting a small fire that was quickly extinguished by Savannah Fire.

• Police are investigating the Saturday afternoon shooting of a 40-year-old man who was walking near the 2400 block of Harden Street.

Nathaniel Mullino, who lives on the block, was transported to Memorial University Medical Center for treatment of a serious injury after the 3:22 p.m. shooting.

• James Patrick Alex was arrested by Chatham County Sheriff's Fugitive Squad. The 39 year old Alex had absconded from probation and "changed his address without notifying Savannah Probation or the Chatham County Sheriff's Office," a department spokesman says.

The Sheriff's Department says that Alex had "possibly taken off his leg monitor and no longer can be tracked.

Alex was identified as "one of our Level Three Sexually Dangerous Predators." cs

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