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Cigarettes, $50 loan spark dispute that lands 56-year-old in jail

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Featured James Flanagan Submitted photo James Flanagan

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James Flanagan, 56, was recently arrested on an aggravated assault charge following an altercation that reportedly stemmed from a dispute regarding cigarettes and loaned money.



According to an incident report, on December 5, deputies were notified by dispatchers of an alleged assault occurring on County Meadows Road. While the deputy was en route, he was informed that the victim was being treated for injuries at the hospital, while the alleged offender, Flanagan, was waiting at the sheriff's department to "tell his side of the story."



A deputy went to Coffee Regional Medical Center and spoke to the victim, a 53-year-old man from Nicholls. The man stated that he and Flanagan had a disagreement over cigarettes and a loan, and that he initially walked away from Flanagan to avoid a dispute. The victim said that Flanagan then yelled at him and hit him in the face. He commented that at first he thought Flanagan just hit him with his fist, but then realized he had been cut in the face with either a razor blade or a knife. He reported that he then saw blood running down his face, and he walked outside to get someone to take him to the hospital.



The deputy noted that he observed a large laceration to the left side of the victim's face, consistent with a cut from a sharp object. 

A witness at the home when the altercation occurred told the deputy that Flanagan and the victim were working in an office at the location on Country Meadows Road. He stated that the victim then asked Flanagan if he had "given some cigarettes to his wife," with Flanagan responding that he had given cigarettes to another female. 



The witness reported that the victim then asked Flanagan about the $50 he owed him, with Flanagan then yelling, "F*** you, motherf*****" at him. The victim allegedly told Flanagan, "I got you," with Flanagan then running toward him and striking him in the face.



According to the witness, the victim hit Flanagan back in self-defense before realizing his face had been cut with a razor blade or a knife. He also said he walked over to Flanagan and noticed he still had a knife in his hand. 



Flanagan then reportedly looked at the witness "as if he were about to cut him" and then "made advances toward him with the knife in a threatening way." As an attempt to defend himself, the witness said he hit Flanagan on the top of the head with a glass bottle.



The witness continued, telling the deputy that after he struck Flanagan, he "stumbled back into the office area and fell into the drywall, causing it to cave in." Flanagan then allegedly grabbed a nail gun and pointed it at him, with another individual at the location grabbing the nail gun. He stated that he left right after the altercation occurred.



Another witness reiterated the timeline of events, also stating that he witnessed Flanagan trying to shoot the other man with a nail gun, so he snatched the gun from his hand.



As a result, Flanagan was charged with one count of aggravated assault and arrested for a probation violation. He was denied bond and is in the Coffee County Jail. 

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