The presence of the street feeding program at St. Paul is seriously undermining our efforts to rid this neighborhood of street prostitutes. Because of this feeding program, some of our most chronic of the trans prostitute gang linger around nearby day and night, whereas this has historically been limited to an overnight phenomenon. We have even observed trans prostitutes plying their trade from that location, as shown in the photo gallery below.
The prostitute featured in this gallery, Antonio Haggins, served time in a South Carolina prison before coming to our neighborhood to turn tricks. He has also generated issues in Charlotte, NC.
That church at Ponce & Piedmont is rapidly becoming Peachtree-Pine II. We have been watching the place get worse day and night. That property not only has become a deplorable magnet for urban camping, but many of the trans prostitute gang afflicting the neighborhood are chronically loitering there. To date the trans prostitute gang has been primarily an overnight problem, but now we are seeing them during the daytime too. When one Midtowner went to document conditions from a respectful distance across the street, a very hostile pack of trans prostitutes came across the street making threats. They even attempted to hold this person captive. Luckily the situation resolved without police intervention, but we urge caution for people walking along that block day and night at this time.
At any rate the most immediate effect of this operation is that it very seriously undermines our efforts to rid the neighborhood of the trans prostitute scourge. Combine that with other vagrants bringing drugs into the picture, and this will likely escalate into a very bad situation for that part of the neighborhood. In the coming days we will present a formal demand that they immediately halt all services to street people, and maintain their property in a neighborly condition at all times like everyone else does in the area. At that address there is both St. Paul Presbyterian Church and then an apparently separate operation called Church on the Street. While Church on the Street seems to be drawing the trans prostitute gang and other street people, we deem the church itself to be responsible for maintaining neighborhood-friendly condtions on their property.
When that church first opened several years ago, they wanted to conduct or allow a feeding program at that site. We immediately contacted them about their badly misguided intentions. They accepted our invitation to a meeting where we helped them understand the problems inherent to dealing with street people. They agreed not to feed and not to permit loitering on that property. We had no problems with them after that until recently. Now we are seeing that something is going on at that back door, and that conditions on that block have deteriorated badly. As a result, conditions are beginning to deteriorate in the surrounding area, and this must be stopped immediately.
MPSA Field Photos of this mess:
1. From time to time we get to identify an individual we strongly suspect to be a patron of the trans prostitiute gang coming into the neighborhood on a nightly basis, and we’ve got one for you now. On April 30th, at around 2:45am, trans prostitute Jermaine Jordan was seen escorting someone who had gotten out of his car to walk around the trans prostitution area. A police unit intercepted them as they reached his car parked in front of the condos at 5th & Piedmont. Larry Williams, the suspected john being escorted back to his car, was found to have a warrant in Dekalb County for Abandonment of Child/Abandonment/Nonsupport and a Probation Violation. The police report even noted that he was walking with a known prostitute back to his car.He was taken to the Atlanta City jail and held for Dekalb authorities.
Once Dekalb came to get him, they held him for ten days. Dekalb records show his home address as 5254 Salem Springs Place in Lithonia (30038-4862). We think Midtowners should send him letters stating how we feel about a john selecting our neighborhood to patronize unwanted trans prostitutes and thereby contributing to criminal activity in our neighborhood. In a nutshell we don’t have any use for that, and he should get to hear it for himself…
2. We need more residents to report tag numbers and vehicle descriptions of cars cruising through areas where the trans prostitute gang likes to ply their trade. Upon the third pass-by, call 911 with a vehicle description so police ptatrols can investigate these individuals. Although getting rid of the trans gang is a very slow process (and currently seems to be undermined by street people feeding at a nearby church), it works and sometimes undesirables cruising the neighborhood are even found to have drugs or warrants.
3. Hosea Smith, aka “Peaches”, was reputed among his fellow trans prostitutes to have been a victim of a homicide. We quickly found this story to be a hoax, but did find this offender to be where he should be: in prison. Public records show that Hosea Smith was arrested and later convicted in Tallahassee for Counterfeit Payment Instruments, Uttering Forged Instruments, and Grand Theft. Florida Department of Corrections show him to be in Close Custody at Apalachee Correctional Institution, but the bad news is that he will be out soon – at the end of June. In October of 2011 this trans prostitute attacked a woman living at 3rd & Piedmont. While here, he also generated several cases involving drug offenses, assault, and terroristic threats, but Fulton County courts, in their leniency, never sent this chronic offender to prison.]]>
If you see this guy report him to 911.
We are working to identify a very aggressive trans prostitute and possible drug dealer appearing in the area of Piedmont and Myrtle near the intersections with 3rd, 4th, and 5th. This individual, whom we have not yet identified, typically appears during the wee hours of the morning in that area. This one drives a dark blue Honda, tag number BXI 1926, and likes to park and meet people for short transactions. These transactions are often too short to be prostitution. He is known to throw rocks at people, threaten and menace area residents, and follow neighborhood watch with headlights on high beam. Please report this as a suspicious person to 911 if seen. Photo posted in gallery on this page.
Last week we received a report of someone appearing to be living out of a parked car on Argonne Avenue near 8th Street. It turned out that the car had a dead battery. After watching it for three days, APD put a five-day sticker on the car and it was removed a few hours later. But in researching the individual, we found that this white male has an extensive history of drug offenses and has served in both state and federal prisons. Hopefully it is a one-time thing, but in the past the presence of meth-head types has indicated the presence of ongoing drug activity nearby. Always let us know immediately if you are aware of someone apparently living in a car!
We have received word that a chronic prostitute and drug addict in the Ponce & Boulevard area has gotten off the streets hopefully for good. We were told that her parents came down from North Carolina to take her home, where she will go through a drug rehab program. We would certainly like to see more of this, but most street prostitutes do not cooperate for long with such efforts and have to be dealt with via police and courts.
One of the trans prostitutes was robbed recently during the early morning hours. This individual reported being “offered” a “ride” in the area of 3rd & Piedmont, and was taken to the area of 10th & Monroe to be robbed at gunpoint. The robber drove off, leaving the prostitute at that location. A little bit later the prostitute flagged down a neighborhood watch volunteer, who then called the police to come take a report. Afterwards, this individual went straight back to the 3rd & Piedmont area to solicit rides again, and has appeared in that area in the same way on several mornings since, at that location. The prostitute reported seeing the potential john cruising around for a little bit before the incident. This was an unusual robbery, as the suspect was believed to be drawn into the neighborhood by prostitutes. We will identify and learn more about this individual once the report is ready.
Tywong McCoy has been spotted around the neighborhood. On a recent Friday afternoon he was spotted smoking crack on the sidewalk on 6th Street near Piedmont. Another resident told us that he was fondling himself in front of her home on 8th Street. He has also been seen hanging around in the 10th & Piedmont area. McCoy was released from prison last year after serving a sentence for stalking a resident in Midtown. He also generated many reports of fondling himself and exposing himself to area women. Mugshot in gallery.
We have a report of someone walking around the neighborhood with an ax during overnight hours. Hopefully this will turn out to be nothing, but walking around with an ax at 1:30am could use a dose of explanation. Please report this individual to 911 if seen, and then write to us (with approximate time of 911 call and other details) so we can check up on it with our contacts at APD. Here is the report as it was posted to our Facebook page:
I have seen a tall thin black man around Glendale and 8th twice in the past week who is walking around carrying an ax. The first time was last Friday night (May 10) around 1:30am on Glendale Terrace. Luckily I was in a car and not walking. I saw him again at 10:00am this morning (May 15) going up to a house at the corner of 8th and Glendale. I was walking away from him but tried to look back to see if he was just knocking on the door or doing anything suspicious and when I looked back he was leaving the house. I’m not sure if he is a guy who does handy work around the neighborhood or if he is someone I should be concerned about; but the large ax is definitely disconcerting. If I see him again I will call Midtown Blue. Has anybody else seen him or know who he is?
We found that Andrew Arnett was transferred from a Gwinnett jail to the Department of Corrections, and was immediately assigned a parole date of this month. We immediately sent a parole opposition statement to the Parole Board, but are unsure if it will work. Although his latest conviction took place in another jurisdiction, he frequently appears in our area for drug-related purposes. To date we have never had an offender released that was the subject of our parole opposition statement. He maxes out in August. Arnett also has a new mugshot for our collection.
Our contacts with APD have advised us that car break-ins have surged in recent weeks. When looking at the crime map for Midtown year to date, pretty much the entire MPSA service area except for Charles Allen Drive and Vedado Way are blanketed with dots for car break-ins. In the rest of Midtown the streets are not even discernible for the car break-in dots. On the one hand car breakins are historically the most frequent crime occuring in the neighborhood. They are also among the most difficult to catch, as the suspects can break into cars relatively quietly and easily.
Unless caught red-handed in the act, it is logistically difficult to watch for these. The culprits typically break into the curb side of the car rather than the street side, making it nearly impossible for anyone driving along – police or not – to readily see that a car has been broken into. What’s more: this problem is largely driven by habits of leaving valuables in cars especially in plain view.
There is an inkling of good news in all of this. APD investigators have identified several suspects, and asked us to share this list.
Demarco Presley has had 33 prior arrests. His criminal history includes various theft offenses, fraud, drug offensess, Disorderly Conduct, street prostitution [Cypress Street type from what we can tell], Robbery, many cases of Entering Auto and unauthorized person in parking lot. Most recently, he was arrested 2-12-13 for Entering Auto and Forgery, and released time served 2-23-13. APD reports that he was observed in the Midtown neighborhoods by an off-duty unit working an event at Piedmont Park, and is known to hang around Parkway & Parkway.
Roderick Goldwire has 27 prior arrests mostly for drugs, but also for Burglary, Theft by Taking, Entering Auto, Aggravated assault on Police Officer, Armed Robberies (2000-2002), among others.
Robin Brown has had 74 prior arrests according to APD, mainly property crimes. Loiters and prowls mostly in Midtown area – north of North Ave and as far east as Monroe Drive. His history includes several convictions for Entering Auto, two convictions for Theft by Receiving Auto, along with lots of alcohol violations, street prostitution [Cypress Street type], prowling, peeping Tom, and Unauthorized person in parking lot [Paybox pickers]. APD tells us that he had two armed robberies near the beginning of his criminal career (Released to probation on 12-7-12). APD reports no contact since his release to probation, but they are taking a close look at him given that theft from auto has been increasing in the Midtown neighborhood and he likes to work that area.
Falandus Gray has had over 40 prior arrests mostly for theft-related charges. He was also arrested on 3/02/2013 for aggressive panhandling on Spring Street, but was released immediately. According to APD, he is a good suspect for car break-ins happening in the area of the Varsity given that he is arrested chronically in that area. He has been arrested. APD also notes several arrests late in 2012 and is known to stay at the Peachtree-Pine “shelter.”
Marcus Perrino has 62 prior arrests ranging from violent crimes towards the beginning of his criminal career, to multiple theft related crimes in recent years. On May 2, 2013, Marcus Perrino was arrested at 607 Peachtree St At the time of his arrest, Perrino was in possession of items which were later determined to have been taken in two theft from auto reports, 634 W Peachtree St and 1072 W Peachtree St. CID has obtained arrest warrants on Perrino for theft by receiving. Based on his recent contacts with APD, it appears that he stays either at or near 477 Peachtree St (Peachtree-Pine “shelter”), but ranges out to Midtown and the neighborhoods to commit his property crimes. His recent history includes 4 theft by receiving auto, 2 auto theft, and multiple theft by receiving charges. His record also indicates a number of forgery arrests and theft of financial transaction cards, which are also indicative of theft from auto.
Terelle Lynch has had 37 prior arrests. APD is watching him for car break-ins in Downtown and Midtown. [MPSA Note: beat cops have been telling us about this individual for quite some time] He has been arrested in those areas this year for trying to pick a paybox and unauthorized person in a parking lot. He likes downtown up to Midtown – arrested on 6th st for warrant. He was been observed by undercover units working in the Midtown area, and is known to hang around on and near Parkway Drive and Boulevard.
o Various thefts
o Violent crimes
o Multiple arrests for unauthorized person in parking lot
o Schemes devices – stealing from parking lot pay boxes
o Alcohol violations
o Disorderly conduct
o Enter auto
o Uses multiple aliases
4/4/2013 – Sgt Cooper found the Check Cashing Place on PDL and Blvd wide open. Code enforcement was notified and the building was secured. The building has now been torn down and a Dunkin Donuts is being constructed. The contractors were made aware of the vagrancy issue in the area.
4/6/2013 – Sgt Cooper responded to an MPSA call regarding vagrant activity in the woods behind the Church parking lot on Monroe Drive.
4/9/2013 – Sgt Cooper along with an MPSA Board member marked utility poles for street light additions for MNA. Three were found.
Entire Month – Sgt Cooper worked with Dax Porterfield of the Ponce Hotel to rid the hotel of unwanted folks. The place has since quietened down, according to neighborhood observers and nearby residents.
Entire Month – Sgt Cooper worked with Midtown Tire regarding car break ins. Sgt Cooper and a MPSA Board member cleared out an encampment where a vagrant was living. A possible suspect was identified and reported to the APD Zone 6 Commander.
Entire Month – Sgt Cooper and an MPSA Board member Steve Gower removed illegal signs from the service area.]]>
Where they are not coming from
Channel 2 ran a story on Monday during its newscast about a number of inmates at the Atlanta Transitional Center on Ponce with a sentence status of “life” with a background of (nominally) very dangerous offenses. After seeing Channel 2′s story we took another look at the place, and still believe that our long-standing observations still hold. But our research did turn up 30 offenders among that facility’s stated capacity of 257 with a sentence status of “life.” Those among the ones we found are in there mostly for murder, but also some armed robbers and rapists are among them. Only one was a minor (14) at the time of offense. Factoring out that one minor (now 32 years old), the average age at time of offense was around 27. While it may seem scary that this facility has 30 inmates currently incarcerated for murder, rape, and armed robbery, a mitigating factor lies in the fact that these inmates committed these offenses 20-30 years ago for the most part, with one case dating back to 1975. We have never known for that facility to house a Charles Manson or a Lawrence Singleton.
When searching for those with a sentence status of “Life, no parole” we get no hits among present and past inmates there. The only limitation in our information is that a facility search only turns up inmates whose latest institution is the Transitional Facility. Recidivists and violators would not turn up in this search criteria – those offenders would have a most-recent facility of somewhere else. Details and important data regarding recidivists, absconders (absconding from this facility is technically considered to be an escape), and re-assignment would have to come from more extensive research.
Other than the listed offense and calculating age based on data, nothing is known about the circumstances under which these crimes occurred. But in our ten years of operations, we have not known for inmates in that facility to cause trouble for the surrounding neighborhood nor have we known for any offenders to remain in the area after release from there, other than one unusual case that came with plenty of reassurance that this individual would offend no further.
Our experience and observations regarding the transitional center
The Atlanta Men’s Transitional Center on Ponce houses pre-release inmates for the Georgia Department of Corrections, who are technically incarcerated but are allowed to leave the facility to go to jobs out in the city. It is not like they are able to come and go as they please, and they live under supervision. Whenever they are not at work, they are to remain inside that facility. They go to their jobs following specific routes prescribed on a case-by-case basis. As we understand it, only very low-risk inmates get the privilege of being assigned to that facility. Inmates who violate the rules, or do not return promptly from work or other authorized leave, are quickly remanded back to a higher-security facility. Except for a brief stop at a convenience store (likely requires permission), there is no interaction between the Transitional Center and the surrounding community.
In the ten years we have been in operation, we have never had any issues with inmates at the Transitional Center on Ponce. Only one of the criminals we have indexed (currently over 300) has been known to have finished a previous sentence there – he has been out of the system for several years and has not re-offended or even re-appeared in Midtown. The inmates there always return to other areas of the state. Furthermore, at least one of our member businesses routinely employs inmates from the Transitional Center through a re-entry job program, and none of them have ever generated problems for the community. Despite watching this place closely for ten years like we do with other factors affecting the neighborhood, we just don’t have any dangerous or even problematic situations involving this place to report to you. As far as we can tell, the program at the Transitional Center is working as it should.
Most Common Criminal Profiles in the MPSA Service Area
1. Inmates released directly from medium and maximum-security facilities
We have problems with inmates being released from medium and maxim facilities directly into the community and then appear or (usually) re-appear at places like Ponce & Boulevard where they pursue a life of street drugs and the criminal activity going along with it. These criminals are not going through any kind of rehabilitative programs, and have no intentions of moving beyond a life of crime.
They leave prison and go straight to Peachtree-Pine, the Open Door Community, or a motel like the Savannah Suites [Check out the reviews!] or the Ponce Hotel, and from there they quickly snap back into their life of street crime that got them into prison in the first place. The fact that they immediately come back to a drug & street criminal culture like that in Bedford-Pine, at Ponce & Boulevard, or among the trans prostitute gang clearly reflects their intentions to continue a life of street crime. We are also seeing parolees leaving prison and re-entering one of these groups of criminals driving the need for the MPSA.
On this point we generally oppose early release of offenders whose sentence emanated from cases involving Midtown. Since they are generally released directly from medium and maximum security facilities, without a chance to adequately test their fitness for life beyond prison walls (via transitional programs), we are unable to feel assured that we will not have any further problems with these offenders. In fact our experience has shown that the majority of Midtown-related inmates quickly resume a life of crime that got them locked up in the first place. In order to better protect Midtowners, we work to stop the release of such offenders back into the community.
2. Fulton County’s Drug Court and lax sentencing patterns
The failures of Fulton County’s Drug Court program very negatively affects conditions in the neighborhood. Too many Drug Court criminals slip away from the program only to return to Ponce & Boulevard and resume their same old criminal way of life. Our index of known criminals is full of those who have played the system by way of the Drug Court, and it is that segment that causes most trouble for us, by far. Fulton County tends to recycle chronic offenders through these programs, and often despite advanced stages of criminal living. In researching criminals coming to our attention, we often find references to drug programs despite very long criminal histories (Usually by Judge Downs or Judge Lovett).
We have also seen scores of criminals in Midtown who were sentenced to probation running concurrently with existing sentences. These offenders are also sent into court-mandated rehab programs over and over. We can certainly understand probation and rehab programs for first-time offenders. However we find it highly inappropriate to apply these kinds of sentences to those who have clearly demonstrated incorrigibility. As a result, the greater community continues to suffer the results of these criminals’ dedication to a life of crime.
Notables among these kinds of criminals:
While these are for the most part obviously not as serious as murder, rape and armed robbery, these are the kinds of offenders most intensively afflicting Midtowners. Many of the street prostitutes on our watch list remain chronic criminals in large part because of Fulton County sentencing practices. Also some of the robbery suspects in incidents earlier this year had been through Drug Court. Here are some examples from our actual experience with street criminals, and the presence of these kinds of criminals synergizes into an inordinate volume of patrol and public security needs for the neighborhood:
Daniel Holt burglarized a home in the neighborhood after having served three prison sentences and having been recycled through the drug court program.
Donald Rayfield, was imprisoned for a burglary just across the Beltline and was seen loitering on Ponce again within a week of release from prison. Previously he headed straight to Ponce after being released from prison in South Carolina, and went to jail on average of about every 45 days. He is currently in Dekalb County jail on auto-theft charges. The car belonged to someone living just south of our service area. http://www.midtownponce.org/ptag/donald-rayfield
Jackie Sue Hunter served a prison sentence for possession of firearm by convicted felon, and upon release immediately checked into the Ponce Hotel and resumed her life of street prostitution at Ponce & Boulevard. We continue to see her on Ponce regularly despite a judicial banishment from most counties in Georgia.
Kenneth Lamb, a three-time rapist who served 20 years during his latest prison sentence, headed straight for the drugs on Ponce. From there he started his menacing conduct, and has walked away from all court-mandated rehab programs resulting from several criminal cases since his release from prison.
Michael Blackmon was paroled from a sentence for trafficking methamphetamines. and appeared in Midtown almost immediately. His life of drugs on parole escalated into a burglary in the neighborhood. Despite being on parole for trafficking methamphetamines, Judge Downs sentenced him to drug rehab in 2011 on a meth charge. A few months later, he burglarized a house in Midtown. Again, Judge Downs only sentenced him to probation running concurrently with existing sentences. He did get his parole revoked and is now back in prison serving the remainder of his original sentence.
Jonathan Wells has been processed through Fulton County’s drug court program, and went on to burglary and other crimes. He was among the “Three Burglateers” in 2008 and did serve two years in prison. Upon release he came back to Ponce, and since then has been arrested on drug and theft charges. Judge Dempsey sentenced him to a residential treatment program in a case after his three prior prison stints. He was arrested this week for shoplifting, and last week he was seen by neighborhood watch prowling around on St. Charles Avenue during the overnight hours.
Andrew Arnett is another criminal that has been playing the system in Fulton County for years. Every time he is sentenced for a felony he ends up being sentenced to rehab and probation concurrent with existing probation. And every time his criminal activity becomes worse. He was finally sentenced to incarceration in a Gwinnett County burglary case, but that sentence runs out in September. Given that he likes to be near Gay bars (he had been a problem for most of the ones on Ponce), he will likely re-appear in our area. For that we stand a high risk that his next offense will take place right here in Midtown.
Lee Arthur Kynard, has for years, been in and out of jail for car break-ins and other offenses. Judge Downs put him through Drug Court in 2008, despite plenty of criminal history going into this. Kynard went on to breaking into more cars – he was arrested several more times afterwards. It was not until his last case that he was finally sentenced to a prison term (46 months). Atlanta Police believe that he was driving car break-ins along 10th Street last year.
Midtown Meth Dealer sent to Prison
We are happy to report that a drug dealer we have been watching for quite a while has finally found his way to prison. Heyward Hagenbuch was sentenced last year to ten years imprisonment for Sale and Trafficking of Methamphetamines. Hagenbuch was arrested in May of 2012 when he attempted to make a $650 sale of methamphetimines to an undercover officer. According to the police report narrative, Hagenbuch texted the police decoy to meet him in the parking lot of Krispy Kreme on Ponce, where he was arrested when he produced the drugs. At the time of this arrest, his stated home address was on Ralph McGill Boulevard, but he had previously been known to live in different locations within the MPSA service area. At one of those addresses, neighbors kept us abreast on criminal activity. He was eventually arrested on a warrant in another jurisdiction. He has an extensive history of drug arrests in multiple jurisdictions across Georgia and Florida. The parole board has not set a tentative parole date, but we will certainly monitor his case and take appropriate action if it turns out to be an unduly short prison sentence. His max date is February 2023, according to Department of Corrections records.
Trans Prostitute Gang
Joshua McFee, known as “Chloe” on the street and who also keeps a high profile among the trans prostitute gang, was recently arrested when he tried to purchase goods at Walgreens with a fake $100 bill. He has a history of public indecency and cashing stolen checks, among other things. Every time he is released from jail he returns to the neighborhood to bring us more criminal activity. He was already on the watch list we shared with you earlier this year, and we would like to see him and his fellow trans criminals “sent down the road,” which is street jargon for getting sent to prison. Since his release from jail on 4/20 he has been seen walking the streets of the neighborhood at night.
Antonio Hunt – So far we seem to have been successful in averting a premature release of another transvestite criminal. We sent a letter to the parole board opposing the release of Antonio Martinez Hunt, who “went down the road” after a conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. That arrest came out of a trespass incident on Myrtle Street when he was making himself at home on some stranger’s front porch. Unfortunately he has a max date of July of this year, so this neighborhood is faced with the prospect of once again having a street prostitute known to carry a gun prowling around the neighborhood – very soon. [Previous: http://www.midtownponce.org/index.php?s=antonio+hunt]
Christopher Stockton, another trans prostitute that used to hang around Ponce & Penn at times, went “down the road” after being convicted for burglary in Coweta County. Since last year he has been serving his third prison sentence, and has a max date of February 2016. We will monitor his parole date, which has yet to be set. [Previous: http://www.midtownponce.org/p728.html]
Armaine Britt, another trans prostitute coming into the neighborhood every night, was arrested last week after throwing a rock at a car and cracking a windshield. This one was already on our watch list. The victim was conducting neighborhood watch work, when he came upon Armaine Britt lying in wait on someone’s porch with a rock. After canvassing the area for an hour, this criminal was apprehended and booked into the Fulton County jail. The prostitutes coming into the neighborhood at night are very territorial, and the SOAP Ordinance would provide another tool to get rid of this gang. MPSA is still working on getting this legislation passed.
Ponce & Boulevard
Donald Rayfield, a street hustler who has been on our radar for several years, was arrested in Dekalb County on theft by receiving (Auto). According to a police report, an officer making a traffic stop found the vehicle he was driving to have been reported stolen. Rayfield remains in the Dekalb County jail – Judge Hunter of Dekalb Superior Court signed an order denying bond on April 8th. He was previously sent to prison for a burglary just across the Beltline from us. Both before and after his last prison sentence and he keeps a high profile among the drug culture at Ponce & Boulevard, but he gets around too. He came under our radar after being released from prison in South Carolina and coming to Ponce. Prior to that he had spent nearly all of his adult life in prison for armed robbery – he’s clearly not fit for life outside prison walls, and neighborhoods like ours experience the results of his state of mind.
Eric Hair, another street hustler and druggie among the Ponce & Boulevard drug culture, was arrested recently for possession of meth. Police spotted him on a bicycle without operating a headlight at night – neighborhood observers had just seen him at the Ponce de Leon Hotel. He has a long criminal history of drug offenses and forgery, and was paroled from prison in 2011. Shortly after his release, he started hanging out at Ponce & Boulevard again, and visiting certain people at the Ponce de Leon Hotel (We have intel that he is staying at one of the motels in the Cheshire Bridge/Piedmont Circle area, but appears here for drug-related purposes). Fulton County recycled him through the drug court program as they notoriously do, but once they released him Gwinnett County charged him with probation violation (his assigned probation office is there), and we are under the impression that Gwinnett County takes these criminals more seriously than Fulton County courts.
Stanley Spradlin, another criminal frequently hanging around with the Ponce & Boulevard drug culture, was arrested recently for burglary and entering auto in the Virginia Highland area. About the same time a woman woke up to find Spradlin had entered her apartment through a window and then left with items when confronted. The victim recognized him as the one who gave her a ride home the night before from the Ponce de Leon Hotel where she had been visiting a friend. Several witnesses reported seeing two males loading items into a black Thunderbird, and it was found that culprits had just broken into several cars. With the information, Police immediately dispatched a unit to the Ponce de Leon Hotel and found Spradlin and another male unloading the black Thunderbird. On the police report narrative Spradlin gave the Ponce de Leon Hotel as his address.
Spradlin was released from prison at the beginning of this year, after having served a stint for a burglary in Virginia Highland. Since his release from prison he has generated suspicious person reports after going door-to-door in that area, and has also been hanging around Ponce & Boulevard. His accomplice, a Ben Elder, was charged with misdemeanor theft by taking.
Tommy McGuire aka “Diamond”, another long-term guest at the Ponce de Leon Hotel was arrested for pimping and possession of Cocaine on April 10th. According to sources on the street, he has been working out of the Ponce Hotel to “manage” his girls. Our Community Prosecutor told us that the pimping incident itself occurred somewhere in the Fulton Industrial Boulevard area. According to the police report in this arrest, McGuire told an undercover that he had 21 women working for him in different places around the city. He was seeking to bring an undercover female officer posing as a prostitute under that umbrella. Once he was put under arrest, police found 9.1 grams of crack cocaine and nearly $7500 in cash in his pocket. Within 48 hours he was released from the Fulton County jail. McGuire was convicted last year in Dekalb County for burglary, and was already on probation for that and another felony conviction.
MPSA NOTE: Except for Spradlin and Hagenbuch, all of these criminals are known for involvement in street prostitution, and each illustrates the need for the SOAP Ordinance and other strategies to rid Midtown of these criminals.
Here are some pictures from this year’s beverage booth:
To date there have been two work sessions in the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on the proposed SOAP ordinance. Representatives from MPSA were in attendance at both sessions giving the only support for the legislation. Activists from several organizations turned out in full force for both work sessions in protest of the banishment provisions. At the last work session, the proposed ordinance was put on hold indefinitely, and the Mayor’s office will put together a work group to take an in-depth exploration into the various approaches to the problem of street prostitution. It is worth noting that at the end of the last session Councilman Bond explained that the city does not provide social services, and is not in a position to do so. Those are provided by the county and he advised those in attendance who wanted to see social services provided for prostitutes to approach county commissioners on the issue.
As of this writing the participants in this work group have not been named, but we expect that groups representing neighborhoods afflicted with street prostitution, including ours, will be represented on this work group In any case we remain firmly insistent that the proposed SOAP ordinance will, at very least, include significant banishment provisions.
More Notes on Street Prostitution
Street prostitution takes many different forms around the city, and even in Midtown. Some niches of the street prostitution market, what we call the high-visibility types,take on a more intense level of blatancy and visibility, characterized by loitering on street corners waiting for/flagging down “rides” and direct solicitation, like the transvestite prostitutes. The rent boys on Cypress Street also fall into the high-visibility group, along with the white females that used to openly solicit at Ponce & Boulevard.
Others, what we call low-visibility types, engage in street prostitution mainly by spontaneous opportunity, like the male hustlers walking along Monroe Drive between Cheshire Bridge and Ponce who will take advantage of a “ride” when it comes up, but their mainstay is other crime like burglary and theft. Those types always have their eyes open for their next opportunity for drug money, be it through prostitution or a house to break into. With the latter the solicitation is less direct and and up-front. Many of the criminals featured in Eye on Midtown fall into the low-visibility type and are not specifically labeled as street prostitutes. The many we have identified have made their mark with us with other (usually more serious) criminal activity.
In other words, street prostitution in a given place including Midtown has to be sliced two ways for accuracy: Geographically and by modus operandi. Regardless of how one sorts out street prostitutes, we have consistently found these two main characteristics across the board among the many street prostitutes coming into the neighborhood over the last ten years:
With time the street prostitutes, like the other street criminals causing trouble in the neighborhood, become deeply entrenched in a life of street drugs and the criminality that goes with it. Those entrenched in street prostitution have to be pried from the environment in which their drug addiction flourishes in order to move past a life of street crime. By imposing banishment on those on probation for prostitution, a convenient means of funding a drug habit can be severed. Cases where Midtown criminals have been sentenced to drug rehab have shown that they will quickly return to a life of drugs. By imposing banishment and making them liable for arrest by virtue of mere presence greatly facilitates uprooting them from a life of street crime.
Those still living in the grips of drug addiction are always looking for that “one more”, and the convenience of getting that “one more hit” by picking up “rides” seriously undermines any chances of rising above life on the streets. An ordinance like SOAP will help greatly in driving a prostitute to the point where there is nowhere to go but into rehab or treatment program, and onward to a more productive and meaningful way of life. We certainly would like to see street prostitutes move beyond this way of life, but at very minimum they must discontinue their negative influence upon the surrounding community. The banishment provision of the SOAP ordinance holds the most promise of applying the necessary pressure by prying them away from the destructive way of living.
Some older pictures from our files of street prostitution…