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Police: Three charged in separate shootings

ALBANY, Ga. -- Gunshots fired in the early hours of Thursday kept Albany Police Department officers busy.

One victim was shot in the hip and others escaped injuries in separate incidents nearly an hour and about two miles apart, a police report stated.

John Johnson, 56, was found lying on his back in a yard with a gunshot to his hip at 816 Cedar Ave. at 2 a.m., said Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman.

"He was transferred to the hospital for further treatment," Banks said. "The circumstances surrounding this incident remain under investigation."

Johnson was in good condition at about 4 p.m., said a Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital spokeswoman.

In a shooting about an hour apart that did not result in gunshot wounds, three men were arrested, a police report stated.

Curles Lee Butler Jr., 24, is charged with simple battery and two counts of aggravated assault in connection with an about 3 a.m. altercation that started at Club River, 1020 Flint Ave., a police report stated.

Ryan Pittman, 20, a friend of Butler's had made remarks to To'Nika DiAnn Smith, 20, of Oakfield, a woman who was accompanied by Ryan Warren Farward, 21, of Hampton, as they left the club, the police report stated.

Farward told Pittman to back away from his vehicle, the report added. Pittman went to Butler, who was sitting in a 2002 white GMC Yukon and shots were fired, according to the report.

Butler fired shots from a handgun at the vehicle Farward and Smith occupied, the report stated. The couple drove away, the report added.

Also arrested in connection with the fight was Nathaniel Davis, 22. He and Pittman, face simple battery charges, the report stated.

Butler, Davis and Pittman drove away in the Yukon and caught up with another man, Rodricus Monta Climpson, 21, in the parking lot of Lawson Auto where they beat him, the report stated.

The reports were unclear if all three victims, Farward and Smith, who were shot at and Climpson, who was beaten, were in one vehicle or separate vehicles.

The accused assailants, Butler, Davis and Pittman are in Dougherty County jail, a jail spokeswoman said. They were awaiting booking at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, she added.