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SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) — Country singer Billy Currington has been indicted on felony charges in Georgia after a 70-year-old tour boat captain says he was chased by the “People Are Crazy” singer from a waterfront home to a dock where Currington threatened him while shouting profanities.
Authorities said a judge was issuing a warrant for Currington’s arrest. A Chatham County grand jury indicted the 39-year-old singer Wednesday on charges of making terroristic threats and abuse of an elderly person. Under Georgia law, each charge is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison.
The singer took to his Twitter account Wednesday thanking fans for their support but sent a message saying he couldn’t comment on the matter since it is an ongoing investigation. Lori Christian, a spokeswoman for Universal Music Group, declined to comment Thursday. Universal owns Currington’s record label. It was not known if Currington had hired an attorney.
Charles Harvey Ferrelle, who conducts boat tours from Tybee Island east of Savannah, told police he was cruising past Currington’s home on Tybee Creek, just west of the island, on April 15 when his two passengers told Ferrelle someone on the property was screaming at them. Ferrelle told police he was floating with the current far from the docks, but throttled up and moved away when he saw the angry man, whom he later identified as Currington.
A police report says Ferrelle told officers that when he passed back by the house on his return trip later in the day, Currington got in his own boat with a camera and chased Ferrelle to where he docks his tour boat. Currington was cursing and threatening to “(expletive) Mr. Ferrelle up,” the police report said.
“If I hadn’t gotten into my slip fast enough, I believe he would have run me over,” Ferrelle told police, according to the incident report.
A woman saying she was the caretaker of an elderly man sharing the same address as Currington also called police to complain a passing boat nearly knocked the man off the home’s dock and into the water. The police report said the woman was talking about the events that led to Currington chasing after the tour boat.
“Well what is it we can do to keep people from coming up on our docks or swamping our docks?” said the woman, identified in the police report as Julie Muscleman.
Ferrelle called police again the next day saying he feared for his life because he had another tour scheduled and would have to pass by Currington’s property again after being threatened. The incident report said police agreed to have a patrol boat nearby when Ferrelle passed the home.
The tour boat captain told police he had no idea why Currington was so angry. Ferrelle did not return phone messages left Wednesday and Thursday by The Associated Press.
Currington is a native of the Georgia coast. His hits include “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer,” ”That’s How Country Boys Roll” and “People Are Crazy.”
On April 17, the singer sent a message to his over 200,900 followers saying “Harrassing (sic) artists often at their home by boat should be illegal. thas all i know.”
The address given for Currington in the police report is for a four-bedroom, six-bathroom house on Tybee Creek, which flows past the island’s southern tip and joins the Atlantic Ocean. Chatham County property records show a Nashville accounting firm bought the home in April 2011 for $3.5 million.
Associated Press Writer Phillip Lucas in Atlanta contributed to this report.