New homeowners met with gun-wielding neighbors

by: Carol Sbarge Updated:

Jean Kalonji

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - A Newton County family says what should have been one of their happiest nights turned into a nightmare.

They said neighbors threatened them with guns and called the sheriff's office as they changed the locks on their new home

The Kalonji family was ecstatic when their son just closed on a foreclosed home that the whole family was moving into.

The realtor told the family after the closing they should head over to their new home and change the lock.

"Somebody come over with the light and the gun," Jean Kalonji said.

Jean and his wife, Angelica, said a man and what appeared to be his son, confronted them with guns in their hands.

"He say to put the hands up and get out from the house otherwise he would shoot us," Jean Kalonji said.

"I get up my hands up, they put by the wall," Angelcia Kalonji said.

The neighbors with the guns apparently thought the Kalonjis were breaking into the home, didn't believe they owned it and called the Newton County Sheriff's Office after threatening with the guns.

The Kahlonjis didn't have the closing paperwork with them. Deputies arrested the couple, charging them with loitering and prowling.

The realtor said deputies should never have arrested the two.


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"They rightfully own this house," Realtor Yvette Harris said.

Newton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Mitchell said they are investigating everything that happened.

"We're kind of on the ground floor to this as far as looking into it exactly what occurred, why it occurred," Mitchell said.

Jean Kalonji said he grew up in the Congo and said the experience brought back painful memories.

"There, they put me down with the gun to my head and come here, the same," Jean Kalonji said.