Eye on Midtown

We send out an electronic newsletter – about every week to ten days on average – known as Eye on Midtown. We have no set frequency – we publish it only as needed. By way of Eye on Midtown, we inform the community about crime data, patrol activity, alerts, crime incidents in the neighborhood, problematic individuals, and MPSA happenings such as social events. We publish mostEye content on the website, under the heading Latest Bulletins on a side panel of all pages. 

The Latest MPSA Bulletins...

  • Sponsors

    Many thanks for our community sponsors! While the majority of our funding comes from residents and small businesses, a significant portion of our neighborhood patrol funds comes from the following sponsors:







  • Social Media

Crime & Safety Summit in Midtown

Next week there will be a public meeting regarding public safety issues in Midtown and surrounding area. Below is the official announcement.

Chairman John H. Eaves to Listen to Crime Concerns of Midtown and Downtown Residents & Businesses

ATLANTA – As part of his ongoing dialogue with Metro Atlanta residents regarding their concerns about crime and violence, Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves will discuss those issues with residents and merchants in the city’s core business district. Chairman Eaves will convene the third in a series of Crime and Safety Summits with those in the Midtown and Downtown Atlanta communities. Following issues with robberies and assaults in those communities, police, political leaders and court officials will discuss current approaches to making these “Live, Work, Play” communities safer.

“These areas of the city represent neighborhoods full of concerned homeowners as well as the nucleus of our business community,” said Chairman Eaves, adding, “It is imperative that their voices be heard.” The meeting will be held at the Saint Mark United Methodist Church on 781 Peachtree St NE in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The moderator will be Fulton County Public Information Officer Lyn Vaughn. Residents will get a chance to speak to a panel that is scheduled to include:

  • Chairman John H. Eaves, Ph.D., Chairman, Fulton County Board of Commissioners
  • Rev. Dr. Beth LaRocca-Pitts, Senior Pastor, Saint Mark United Methodist Church
  • Judge Robert McBurney, Superior Court of Fulton County
  • Chief Judge Stephanie C. Davis, Magistrate Court
  • Chief Judge Bradley J. Boyd, Fulton County Juvenile Court
  • Chief Judge John R. Mather, Fulton County State Court
  • Paul L. Howard, Jr., Fulton County District Attorney
  • Major James Whitmire, Atlanta Police Department
  • Chris Leighty, Director of Public Safety, Midtown Alliance
  • Ted Jackson, Fulton County Sheriff
  • Andre Dickens, Atlanta City Council Member, Post 3 At-Large

For more information on this event, contact Darryl Carver, Director of External Affairs for Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves at (404) 612-8238 or (678) 613-2396. Chairman Eaves’ office can also be reached via social media on Twitter @JohnEaves and Facebook /JohnHEaves.

crime-safety-summit

Call for Volunteers: Dogwood Festival beverage booth

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR THE BEVERAGE BOOTH DURING THE DOGWOOD FESTIVAL

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Dogwood Festival will be held the weekend of April 11-13, 2014

We are very happy to report that once again we have secured a beverage booth at the Dogwood Festival for the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance,  to staff! This year’s festival will be held the weekend of April 11 – 13, and we will again have the booth at the 14th Street entrance – great location. Last year our booth was the highest volume booth in the Festival, and we had the most fun!

Are you available to take a shift – fun and easy work? We hope so, this has always been a hugely enjoyable event for us all, and the MPSA consistently raises $2,500+ to fund patrol shifts.

Please let us know as soon possible at info@midtownponce.org (or by simply replying to this email) if you are able to staff one or more of the 55 slots available. Let us know your shift preference:

  • Friday (4/11) – Noon to 3:00, 3:00 to 6:00 and 6:00 to 7:30;
  • Saturday (4/12) – 10:00 to 1:00, 1:00 to 4:00, and 4:00 to 7:30;
  • Sunday (4/13) – 10:30 to Noon, Noon to 3:00, and 3:00 to 6:00.

Also, be sure to ask a friend to join you, whoever you recruit will be paired with you.

Many thanks. It’s a bunch of fun and we raise a ton of patrol money for safety in Midtown!

Special Report: About the Criminals We Deal With

Last month we put out our prison & parole report showing the status of some our most serious offenders. Unfortunately, the majority of our street criminals remain active and unincarcerated. As we often say, the many reasons that we need a patrol have names, and over the years we have come to recognized distinct groupings for street criminals each with its own set of foundational characteristics. This guides us in our patrol and strategy planning in order to target and address distinct profile patterns bombarding us on multiple fronts.

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

We therefore keep a watchlist of problematic individuals that have come to our attention. In our years of operation the patrol has dealt with hundreds of individuals. Others have come to our attention either through direct observation, or from reports coming from residents and businesses in the neighborhood. Of these, we only catalog those who either maintain a chronic or recurring presence in the area, or have perpetrated very serious crimes in the neighborhood. In addition, there is a small handful of additional individuals whom we treat as “at-risk” rather than as criminals or worse. Currently, the watchlist has 362 individuals, and we have sorted them into several major groupings.

MOST CHRONIC GROUPINGS

  • Groups I, II, and III comprise 83% of the watchlist. These are the ones creating the most problems for the neighborhood, and drive the need for a patrol. 

Group I: Ponce & Boulevard - These appear chronically in the Ponce & Boulevard area primarily for drug-related purposes. The Ponce Hotel plays a heavy role in their chronic presence by either housing criminals in the area, allowing tenants to draw in others that loiter on that property, or allowing undesirables to loiter on the property. Street drugs form the foundational characteristic of this bunch – they live for one thing, and one thing only: their next hit of drugs. Because of this group, Ponce & Boulevard is where Crack (coming mostly from Bedford-Pine area) meets Meth (coming from the Cheshire Bridge area).

This street drug culture spawns a myriad of other detrimental issues. Historically, street prostitution was the most prominent and obtrusive feature of this group when we started the MPSA in 2003. Quite a few (mostly white) female street prostitutes and (mostly) white male meth-addicted street hustlers ping-ponging between P&B and the Cheshire Bridge area operated in this area. While street prostitutes are not nearly as visible as before, they are still around.

Drug-related street prostitution is only the beginning. This profile group engages in a lot of procurement crime, such as car break-ins and burglaries. They break into cars and homes, and peddle the stolen goods around Ponce & Boulevard to buy drugs, or trade them for drugs.

Over the years, we have seen a dramatic reduction in the presence of these criminals, but too many still linger. The final closing of the Ponce Hotel will be instrumental in achieving further reduction of street criminals revolving around Ponce & Boulevard. The closing of this anchor point, at least in its current incarnation, remains anxiously awaited. Redevelopment and the ensuing gentrification will ultimately finish the job for us at Ponce & Boulevard, and eliminate these criminals as a distinct profile group.

This is a complex group, and there is more to it than the Ponce Hotel. The drug trade revolving around the Bedford-Pine apartments also plays a major but gradually decreasing role in the problems (thanks to Councilman Kwanza Hall’s Year of Boulevard initiative). Still, Bedford-Pine remains a problem area as long as its management fails to prevent unauthorized tenants from settin up camp and dealing drugs. And then Bedford-Pine does not encompass all of the drug activity in the area immediately to the south of our patrol area.

There were also a couple individuals living in the service area and known to be trafficking drugs and stolen goods. We also had some problem tenants sprinkled around the neighborhood contributing to the Ponce & Boulevard phenomenon. We have managed to identify and get them pushed out of the neighborhood. Over the years we identified some vagrant encampments like Camp Burger King, had those cleaned out, and ended up routing out a number of undesirables from the area as a result. Several flophouses on North Avenue just east of Boulevard, known as Crackhouse Row, are now burned out and boarded up.

Nowadays the remaining druggies revolving around Ponce & Boulevard generally know not to come into the residential area, and to keep a low profile otherwise. We did this in part with “unwanted” posters placed in strategic places, and aggressively court-watched those not keeping a low profile (like Andrew Arnett and Jackie Sue Hunter). They know that they will stay in prison for their maximum prison sentence, and not make parole, if we find out about them getting arrested for something.

Group II: Trans Prostitute Gang - These are the trans prostitutes appearing in the southwest portion of the MPSA service area on a nightly basis. Street prostitution is a foundational characteristic of this segment of the watchlist, but they engage in other criminal activity too. Of all the street criminals, their banding together for criminal purposes makes them most cohesive of our street criminal categories. By comparison, the individuals in the other groupings tend to be solitary offenders. Prostitution in ​a ​residential area, combined with their gang-like modus operandi, makes this group particularly problematic. Of all the criminal groupings, the trans prostitutes have budged the least and remain dead-set on maintaining the southwest portion of our service area as their territory. Their presence also compounds the problems inflicted by Group III (below). More about the trans prostitute gang in our latest prostitution report.

Group III: Prowlers - The prowlers roaming around the neighborhood consist mainly of vagrants staying in shelters or camping in the area, or otherwise living on the streets. Drug-related vagrancy is the common denominator of this (somewhat of a catch-all) grouping. The prowler group is alot like the Ponce & Boulevard group, except we have made the distinction between those frequenting Ponce & Boulevard, and the street people who do not. While Bedford-Pine drives alot of Group I (above), Peachtree-Pine’s influence contributes much more to the prowler phenomenon. Feeding programs also compound this problem group.

Many appear in the area of Cypress & 7th Streets​ as male street hustlers, but crop up in the MPSA service area as prowlers, dope boys, street burglars, and car break-in perps. These crimes are also perpetrated by vagrants camping in places like the Beltline behind Piedmont Park. In fact, we attribute nearly all of the remaining car break-ins and many of the burglaries to the prowler group. Sometimes they perpetrate street muggings, and can be seen casing blocks in the neighborhood. They come around day and night.

Among this eclectic group are also some perverts like Nakia Graham and Tywong McCoy, who are notorious for flashing and fondling themselves at women. This groups is also known for a moderate volume of urban camping camping – on business properties, vacant houses, along alleyways, in Piedmont Park and especially the wooded areas around the park. The dope boys drawn in by the trans prostitute gang are also in this group.

OTHER GROUPINGS

Group IV: Major Criminals - These are by far the most serious, but thankfully there are not many of them. Group IV consists of criminals who have perpetrated one-time major incidents, but appear randomly. They are not known to appear in the area chronically or regularly. These are not street people but mostly roving robbers sometimes striking other neighborhoods along with Midtown. We are happy to say that much of this group is in prison. Examples among these dangerous criminals include Nyquarious Edwards (9th Street carjacking), Sean Jessie (Penn Avenue home invasion), and Dennis Stallings (robbery perp in the February 2013 rash and was later sent to prison).

The typical scenario among robbery suspects is that they rove around town, sometimes in a stolen car, and hunt for potential victims walking along the streets. In some cases they park somewhere and walk around to prowl around for victims. This is reflected by the fact that in many robberies, stolen credit cards are used in relatively far away places like East Point and SW Atlanta within an hour after the victim is robbed. More about this phenomenon in our report on robberies from February 2013:

There is not a whole lot we can do at patrol level to prevent these, except to have an officer around as much as possible to increase the chance that these perps are quickly apprehended. These situations are always major calls, and require advanced APD resources because of the extremely dangerous nature of these individuals. Again, these are thankfully rare but very serious when they do strike.

Group V: Day Laborers - Mostly hispanic males congregating in front of the Home Depot on Ponce who sometimes camp, urinate, drink in public places, and generate nuisance complaints. It is important to note that we do not routinely catalog day laborers as such, as day laboring is a perfectly legitimate form of employment. They are only added to the watchlist when a criminal offense or recurring nuisance activity is noted. Our watchlist currently has only one individual from this category. Issues with this group tend to be limited to nuisance activity, and most reports of activity among this group are not pegged to specific individuals. We are also seeing fewer nuisance and criminal issues among this group than we did five years ago given that a collaborative effort between APD and MPSA has brought this issue under a reasonable measure of control to ensure that community concerns of more serious criminal activity, perhaps gang activity, never materialized.

The one individual from this category has a history of belligerence, obtrusive loitering, public drunkenness, and kicking someone’s dog. He’s still around, but seems to have mellowed out.

Group VI: Misc. Criminals & Problem Individuals - These do not fit into any of the other categories, and tend to be unique types of cases. Issues in this category almost always involve individuals appearing regularly or living in/near the neighborhood. Among these individuals we are not aware of involvement with street drugs or prostitution. Some like Kenneth Lamb are labeled as psychopaths.

Group VII: Other (nearby) neighborhoods - These individuals primarily appear in other neighborhoods or to a limited extent non-MPSA Midtown. This category is designed to accomodate reports and intel coming from other neighborhoods, and special requests from APD published in Eye on Midtown. We file them under this category if they are not known or believed to be ongoing Midtown issues, and sometimes stand a good chance of becoming Midtown issues later. Example: the individual who assaulted the woman in the park in Old Fourth Ward. There are only a small handful of these.


After 11 years of operation, we continue to make progress toward optimizing public safety & order in our beautiful neighborhood, but much work remains to be done. We work in two ways: by funding a neighborhood patrol through a membership drive, and by working to reduce the need for the patrol through efforts like court watch & collaboration with APD and other public officials. Ongoing support from neighbors like you is very much appreciated, and we look forward to taking Midtown even further in overcoming these challenges, and thereby enhancing the Midtown experience.

In an upcoming report we will discuss how we rate individual street criminals and problem persons.


THE DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS OF STREET PROSTITUTION

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

Legislative update - As we announced a month ago, we are pursuiing legislation to more effectively target the prostitutes and the johns they draw taking over the streets in a certain part of the neighborhood. We sent a letter to several legislators (linked below). One legislator has taken interest in our issues, and so far we have found the dialog to be very helpful in implementing strategies to combat this scourge. We are not going to divulge details at this point, but we are working in the background to bring about stepped-up measures to make it clear that these criminals have no place in our vision for a safer and more secure Midtown experience.

For now, we leave you with two things:

  1. Letter sent to several legislators in PDF form
  2. Special report below summarizing where we are coming from with this issue, drawing largely from a separate report we have compiled for our legislators.

MPSA SPECIAL REPORT: THE DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS OF STREET PROSTITUTION

I. THE BASIC NATURE OF STREET PROSTITUTION:

Regardless of the form that it takes, street prostitution badly undermines the health and vitality of any community afflicted by it, and it becomes much more problematic when it occurs in residential areas. It is one thing when prostitutes ply their trade in a non-residential area like truck stops and abandoned commercial strips, but endangering people where they live is beyond reprehensible.

The twelve years we have been serving the Midtown community have shown us first-hand that street prostitution draws in a host of other criminal elements, starting with drug activity and then onward to the prowlers stalking our streets & alleyways, to car break-in culprits roaming the neighborhood, street burglars casing homes and residents, and even dangerous criminals that rob and mug residents and visitors alike.

Not only does it create a lawless atmosphere attracting further criminal activity (i.e. the Broken Window theory), but many of those involved with street prostitution also engage in criminal activity beyond prostitution and drug activity. Most street prostitutes have a wide range of issues in their criminal histories.

II. FALLOUT FROM STREET PROSTITUTION IN MIDTOWN:

  • Drug deals taking place in front of people’s homes
  • Vandalism in retaliation for calling police
  • Menacing, threatening, and assaulting residents
  • Johns accosting women living in the neighborhood as if they were prostitutes
  • Rocks thrown at residents, their homes, and at their cars (as they drive by)
  • Exploitation of elderly and disabled residents
  • Drugs and weapons stashed on their properties
  • Prostitutes using people’s back yards and front porches to service their johns
  • The atmosphere of lawlessness that draws prowlers, car break-in perps, and even muggers into the area in which we actually live and should feel most safe
  • Though thankfully rare, gunfights among those involved with prostitution-related drug activity.
  • Children exposed to prostitution and its related criminal activity

III. FORMS OF STREET PROSTITUTION IN MIDTOWN:

Street prostitution in Midtown occurs in three major hotspots, which in turn serve as major anchor points for further criminal activity:

1. The most visible and problematic variation of street prostitution in Midtown is brought to us by very aggressive trans prostitutes who ply their trade in a gang-like fashion. They literally take over the streets in a certain part of the residential area on a nightly basis, and remain dead-set on maintaining that area as their territory. They generate an atmosphere of serious disorder, and bring in a steady stream of drug dealers into the residential area looking to serve them once they have have money from a trick. Some of the trans prostitutes even deal drugs under the guise of street prostitution.

2. We have remnants of the Ponce & Boulevard variants (both regular female and male street hustlers) revolving around a street drug culture. They also ply their trade in plain view of where people live – like Glen Iris Lofts, Ponce de Leon Court, and the Bedford-Pine apartments where many disadvantaged, single mothers struggle to keep their children from falling into the hands of bad influences. Many of these offenders also burglarize and break into cars in Midtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

3. Male hustlers converge on Cypress Street outside of people’s condos. While Cypress Street is outside of the MPSA service area, they crop up in the service area as burglars and car break-in perps.

IV. UNIQUE PROSTITUTION ISSUES IN MIDTOWN

Street prostitution in Midtown is further compounded for us by the way a distinct set of particularly aggressive prostitutes, namely what we have labeled the trans prostitute gang, band together to take over the streets in a certain part of our neighborhood to perpetrate their criminal activity. They do so in a blatant, gang-like manner and without any regard for the residential community they have chosen to afflict. And they are very resolved to maintain that portion of the neighborhood as their territory. Other communities experience different variations of street prostitution and with different demographic details, but the end effect is all the same – it poses a continuing threat to the safety, health, and vibrancy of the neighborhood we call home. It is simply not right that law-abiding citizens have to tip-toe around a band of criminals on a nightly basis.

V. THE CHRONIC OFFENDER PROBLEM:

Since street prostitutes almost always ply the trade in order to support a drug habit, diversion and rehab programs, and other services should be readily available- to those genuinely receptive to them and willing to make the necessary commitment to such. Since social services are not within our scope and mission we lack the expertise to go into specifics. But we need additional measures to enable our law enforcement agencies and court systems to address the problems of recidivist and recalcitrant offenders that comprise a majority of those engaging in street prostitution.

In our experience in working for a safer Midtown and researching the prostitutes and other criminals coming into the neighborhood, we have found that too many offenders go through diversion programs over and over, only to return to their circuit and resume criminal activity. Furthermore, street prostitution ends up being a prolific enabling factor in this cycle of criminal activity. We have participated in the court watch program at the Fulton County DA’s office for several years, and have seen this phenomenon in action over and over.

The most appropriate response to any kind of criminal activity must contain the core message that criminal activity is never appropriate and must stop immediately and unconditionally. Without this core message, alternative responses to criminal activity will inevitably fail because they accomplish nothing more than another way to play the system and continue to undermine the safety and quality of life for the residents of Midtown, much of which is driven by the relative impunity with which street prostitutes inflict their criminal activity upon the community we call home. This always leaves us with the critical question of how to best protect our community.

VI. CONCLUSION:

Inflicting this kind of criminal activity upon a residential area should be treated with increased criminal liability. Our years of experience have led us to the conclusion that legislation similar to the elements in the appendix of this report would better promote safe and thriving neighborhoods. We put on the table an idea for legislation making prostitution-related criminal activity a felony when it occurs in imminent proximity to where people live (we suggested that it be defined as within 500 to 1000 feet of a “dwelling,” which seems to be the preferred term in the Official Code of Georgia). We are, however, open to other ideas that would have the same effect in imparting a strong message that people have a fundamental right to a safe neighborhood in which to live, and that criminal activity in residential areas should be treated with extra sensitivity. We also would like to see this legislation target both the prostitutes themselves, and the especially the johns who encroach upon neighborhoods to exploit their presence in front of people’s homes.

In the interim this legislator also would like to see law enforcement step up use of an existing law that provides for forfeiture and seizure of vehicles used by johns when picking up prostitutes. Under Georgia law § 16-6-13.2, someone picking up a prostitute is subject to having a vehicle confiscated in certain instances. It also remains to be seen what the Mayor will do with the SOAP legislation introduced last year in city council.


Some pictures of the trans prostitute gang operating outside people’s homes:


MPSA Patrol Report – January 2014

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MPSA Patrol in action

Thankfully, January was a slow month. The snow event knocked out several days of patrolling, so that’s a little bit of money to roll over.  January is usually like this.

  • No arrests
  • Only 10 calls for service via 911
  • An additional 7 calls directly via the member hotline
  • 6 people made use of the vacation watch.
  • 146 hours of service logged

Highlights from the patrol logs:

  • Sgt Cooper assisted a neighbor to retrieve an overdue car lent out several months ago.
  • Sgt Cooper reported a major water leak on 7th between Durant and Glendale.
  •  Sgt Cooper discovered and located the owner of a house that had water leak on Penn.

Spring is just around the corner, and we all know what that means…


LEGISLATIVE NEEDS FOR MIDTOWN: AGGRAVATED PROSTITUTION LAW



The Georgia legislature will be back in session next week, and with that we will seek some sponsors for neighborhood-supportive legislation. We have one major item for that in mind – enhancing the incarcerability of the street prostitutes and their johns who plague a certain part of the neighborhood on a nightly basis. We are calling for legislation to more effectively help us in dealing with a problematic segment of our street criminals.

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

Currently, prostitution and pandering (picking up prostitutes) is currently only a misdemeanor. We will be approaching some legislators looking for sponsorship for a law we have tentatively dubbed “aggravated prostitution.”  This form of prostitution would be defined along the lines of prostitution in a residential area (we will suggest “within 500 feet of a window or door of any dwelling”), and work to have that designated a felony punishable up to five years incarceration. This is separate from the SOAP legislation in City Hall, which we also need.

The most aggravating aspect of the nightly infliction by the trans prostitute gang is that they are perpetrating their criminal activity in a residential area. It is one thing that prostitutes go to a non​-residential area to practice their trade, but endangering people at and around their homes​ is beyond unacceptable.​ Folks deserve to feel safe in their homes, and prostitutes and their johns undermine this.

In Georgia, other criminal offenses are given enhanced punishments when it involves a residence. For example, burglary of a home is punishable with up to 20 years imprisonment while burglary of a non-residential structure is punishable by a maximum of 5 years on first offense. Also, picketing at someone’s home is usually prohibited by law and does not come under first amendment. Why? People have the right to live in peace and safety in their homes. Because of its highly criminogenic nature and the way it endangers residents, we strongly feel that street prostitution in a residential area should carry a heavier criminal liability than it currently does.

For now we would love to hear from Midtowners about how you feel about having street prostitution immediately outside of your home. As we have done with other issues, we would like to build a dossier of replies on this issue. Please share your thoughts to info@midtownponce.org. Below we have posted the current law, and suggestions for enhancement. Please send us your views on the subject of prostitution in residential areas, and stay tuned for more details.

These are the current laws on the books:

§ 16-6-9. Prostitution: A person commits the offense of prostitution when he or she performs or offers or consents to perform a sexual act, including but not limited to sexual intercourse or sodomy, for money or other items of value.

§ 16-6-12. Pandering: A person commits the offense of pandering when he or she solicits a person to perform an act of prostitution in his or her own behalf or in behalf of a third person or when he or she knowingly assembles persons at a fixed place for the purpose of being solicited by others to perform an act of prostitution.

16-6-13. Penalties for violating Code Sections 16-6-9 through 16-6-12 (excerpt): (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, a person convicted of any of the offenses enumerated in Code Sections 16-6-10 through 16-6-12 shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. A person convicted of the offense enumerated in Code Section 16-6-9 shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.

And here are some needed enhancements. These were put together from a layman’s standpoint, and the real thing would need legal review for most appropriate verbiage and placement in the criminal code. The definition of “dwelling” was taken verbatim from another statute. 

§ 16-6-9.1 Aggravated Prostitution: (a) As used in this Code section, the term “Dwelling” means any building, structure, or portion thereof which is designed or intended for occupancy for residential use.

(b) A person commits the offense of aggravated prostitution when he or she performs or offers or consents to perform, within 500 feet of a door or window of a dwelling, any sexual act, including but not limited to sexual intercourse or sodomy, for money or other items of value.

(c) A person convicted of the offense of aggravated prostitution years shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

§ 16-6-12.1 Aggravated Pandering: (a) As used in this Code section, the term “Dwelling” means any building, structure, or portion thereof which is designed or intended for occupancy for residential use.

(b) A person commits the offense of aggravated pandering when he or she, within 500 feet of a door or window of a dwelling, solicits a person to perform an act of prostitution in his or her own behalf or in behalf of a third person or when he or she knowingly assembles persons at a fixed place for the purpose of being solicited by others to perform an act of prostitution.

(c) A person convicted of the offense of aggravated pandering years shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.


Some pictures of the trans prostitute gang operating outside people’s homes:

 

 

 

 

 


December 2013 Prison, Parole, & Recent Disincarceration Report



Examples of why we need a patrol!

We recently conducted a comprehensive audit of nearly 360 individuals on our watchlist, and found quite a few in prison. Some have recently been released. We have ​highlight​ed​ a handful of them ​ below, but you can view the full report here. The take-away is that these are the kinds of criminals ​apprearing in our neighborhood and our watchlist puts names on the many reasons that we need a patrol.

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

The scary part is that the 44 offenders in the report comprise only a minority of the 360 on our watchlist. And of course the watchlist consists only of those we know about. Except for an additional 35 or so currently in the Fulton County jail (separate from this report), and about 40 or so who are deceased or clearly inactive, the majority of them remain unincarcerated criminals and are active somewhere underscoring the need for Midtowners to maintain support for our patrol.

#040 – Kenneth Lamb: A psychopathic individual noted for menacing people in the community. He previously served 20 years for rape, only to go on to a li ​fe of street drugs. He maxed out of prison on December 13, 2013 for a terroristic threats charge, and three days later he was booked into the Fulton County jail for a probation violation. He remains in the Fulton County jail, and but we still need to watch his case closely.

#062 – William Jeffrey REESE: Back in prison - In April 2008 Jeff Reese burglarized a home on Greenwood Avenue, and then was busted the next day as he b ​urglarized a home in Brookhaven. He was given a ten year sentence running until 2018, but was paroled in September 2013. Before too long he was loitering again among the drug culture at Ponce & Boulevard. He was arrested for forgery, and booked into the Fulton County jail. He was given time served on the forgery charge, and Fulton County jail records show that he was handed over to the Department of Corrections. Prison records have not yet been updated, but hopefully we can forget about him at least until his max date of 2018.

#088 Jessie SANDERS: Jessie Williams, also known as Jessie Sanders, was caught breaking into a car on Nov. 11, 2013. In 2012 a pattern of chronic car break-ins developed at a member business on Ponce. We monitored the location closely, studied the pattern, staked out, and determined a time frame in which the perp struck, and identified the person to watch from that point on. Finally he was caught red-handed. He was given a sentence of five years – three years to serve, followed by two years probation. He was also doing odd-jobs for a business on Ponce, but this business will not take him back should he be released from jail. In the week between Christmas and New Years the Department of Corrections swooped into the Fulton County jail and hauled Sanders off to Coastal State Prison near Savannah. He has a max date of November 2016, and we will monitor his tentative parole date (currently no decision).

#163 – Timothy KOZAK: Major burglary perp among the “Three Burglateers” caught with the help fo Sgt. Cooper. He was tied to numerous burglaries in Midtown and Virginia Highland. He was also a known street hustler and loitered chronically in the Ponce & Boulevard area for drug-related purposes. According to street people, he is among the very worst characters among the drug and street criminal culture. So far we have been able to avert an early release for this offender – MPSA sent parole opposition to avert a November 2013 release for sentence maxing out in 2018.

#209 – Heather WHITFIELD aka “Trinity”: On parole – Heather Whitfield was a significant drug trafficker living in the 529 Ponce building, and was also notorious for trafficking stolen goods. Stories on the street about her lead us to liken her to Griselda Blanco​ on a small Ponce scale. A BOLO was put out for her in August 2009, and she was later found living in Dekalb County, where she was convicted of drug trafficking and sent to prison. She was paroled in December 2013, but her full sentence maxes out in August 2015. Parole board records list her as living in Suwanee.

#213 – Daniel Lee HOLT: Back on streets soon - In March 2011 Holt burglarized a residence in Midtown, and was identified through security footage on a neighbor’s home security camera. He had been seen hanging around suspiciously in the area in the days leading up to the event. He already had priors for theft and drug offenses. He maxes out of prison in March 2014.

#221 – Vincent RUTLEDGE: Gone for LIFE - In 2010 he ​very menacingly accosted a woman and her child as she was getting into the car. This guy reached into the car and touched the little girl. After a short stay in FC, he was released again and re-offended over and over again. He raked in 22 bookings in Fulton County alone. Then he went over to Dekalb County to rob and kidnap someone. They sent him away for life.

#325 – Jeffrey DILLS: On parole – Dills came under our radar in 2009 as a result of hanging out in the Ponce & Boulevard ​area ​among the drug culture. He has a very long arrest history in Fulton County and other places dating back to at least 1994. Cases for theft, forgery, and drug activity have also been found in Dekalb and Gwinnett Counties, and has served three prison stints in Georgia alone. Businesses on Ponce have observed him in a drunken state. He was paroled in 2013, and since then he has been seen chronically loitering in druggie hang-outs like the Ponce Hotel and in front of KROGER/Ford Facory Lofts. Wears a red coat with orange hoodie underneath on cold days. He was arrested this week for a parole violation, and is good until December 2015 if they fully revoke his parole.

The rest of the 44 from the prison & parole list are listed at the full report. The report also uses coding which sheds insights on how we assess the criminals coming around our neighborhood.



MPSA Patrol Activity – December 2013

MPSA Patrol in action

MPSA Patrol in action

In a Nutshell:

For the closing month of 2013, your patrol logged 140 hours, during which they handled or assisted with 19 calls to 911, took an additional 8 calls directly from members via the patrol hotline, and made 2 arrests. 19 members made use of the out-of-town patrol checks.

Highlights from the patrol logs

Members should advise/warn contractors working on their house/property to secure their vehicles to guard against theft. Sgt. Cooper found a plumber’s truck wide open on 5th Street, with tools and all sorts of parts there for the taking, and spoke to the plumber who had no idea of the problems the area is facing.

Members should register the​ir​ alarm systems with The City of Atlanta or face a fine.

Sgt. Cooper noted that the theft of packages delivered by UPS and FedEx slowed down this holiday season.

The Ponce Hotel has a new owner and renovations of the first floor have started.

Sgt Cooper noted that a member restaurant in the service area (Eats) recently experienced an uptick in car break-ins during lunchtime. Key contacts at APD were notified of the problem, and have been working with Sgt. Cooper on the problem.

Sgt. Cooper placed several five-day stickers on abandoned cars in the neighborhood. All were removed, and no tows were required.

12/19/2013 – Sgt. Cooper attended a court hearing with a crime victim of a major incident at her request.

12/20/2013 – Officer Powell assisted with a shooting call at Parkway and North 

Sale of the Ponce Hotel

The Ponce de Leon Hotel at 551 Ponce.

The Ponce de Leon Hotel at 551 Ponce.

We were elated to learn that the Ponce Hotel has sold, and it is our understanding that its current incarnation will shut down and the building revamped into student apartments. They have already started renovation work, and have already cleared out an entire floor of mostly criminals. The sale of the Ponce Hotel is the biggest shot in the arm that we’ve had in a long time. Our Patrol Coordinator has enjoyed a good relationship with the outgoing owner of the hotel, and in the background we have been able to minimize the criminal and nuisance activity surrounding that place – most notably street prostitution and drug activity. There has been some other criminal activity such as burglary and car break-ins connected with the hotel.

Most optimal has always been the final closure of this place, especially since those types of hotels are no longer a business model that works well – budget motels create a distinct set of issues for law enforcement and neighborhood groups like ours . As bad as that place is, it could have been even worse. In fact its influence on Ponce had been worse at one time.

The hotel ​is still partially in operation, and needless to say it still presents an ongoing maintenance issue for us. For all practical purposes we still have plenty of druggies on that block living in and revolving around the hotel in some way. That leaves quite a bit of work for us at MPSA to minimize problems radiating into the rest of our service area. While we are very optimistic about the outcome in the not-so-distant future, it’s not over until the fat lady sings…

PREPARED & PROTECTED #5: TO & FROM YOUR CAR

A series on safer living…

One of the potential hazards of everyday living takes place when we go to and from our cars. There is no getting around this – we all have to go to work, go shopping, and just for general reasons. While this can be a moment of heightened vulnerability, much of this can be overcome with simple situational awareness and alertness.

Many muggings occur when going to and from our cars

Many muggings occur when going to and from our cars

Street robberies take place occasionally in the neighborhood, and we even have rashes of robberies from time to time. Because so many people park on the public streets and in parking lots, criminals exploit this. Earlier this year when researching for our special report for robberies, we found that many victims were robbed as they exited from their vehicles late at night. We therefore urge that you look around the area before exiting your vehicle. Take a moment to size up anyone in the vicinity, and don’t get out of the car if something does not seem right.

The use of the dome light should be kept to a minimum, or kept off altogether. Whenever your dome light is on, it disorients and disconnects you from your surroundings and can give a potential assailant a little bit of a lead when moving in on you. Only turn it on and off manually when you really need to. Consider keeping a small, low-powered flashlight in the console of the car if you need to fumble around for something, but break that habit too. Also maintain a habit of glancing into the backseat area before entering a car to make sure nobody is in there!

Parking lots warrant a little added alertness. When going to and from your car, size up your route to your car. Be especially alert to whomever is within about 25 feet of you (we talked about the 21-foot danger zone earlier). Park in well-lit areas, and avoid isolated areas. When returning to your car have your keys ready, and develop a habit of putting your keys away in a manner where you do not have to fumble for them. The same goes for your whistle, pepper spray or handgun – keep them ever ready to be drawn and deployed from concealment. A key also makes for a good makeshift defense weapon – go for the eyes and draw blood. If you find yourself in a self defense situation make lots of noise to draw attention to the situation – scream, yell, hit the panic button on your car, etc.

Again, be very cautious with people approaching you in the parking lot. Nobody needs candy, cookies, magazines, or religion badly enough to put themselves at added risk. Be especially cautious with people asking for assistance with jumping a car or some other similar issue that could be a ruse to distract you – the linked video shows you why. For that matter keep jumper cables in the trunk or otherwise well-concealed – that way they cannot say, “I see you’ve got jumper cables.” Again, giving yourself options is the key strategy in personal safety and defense. And do not cave in to the fix-your-car scammers running around town. Let a security officer or store manager know if you are approached by suspicious individuals in their parking lot – call AAA or Midtown Tire if you car does not start. Call MPSA Patrol, Midtown Blue, on-site security, etc. and let them know that someone claims to need help.

If you think you are being followed while driving, do not head home. Go to a safer location instead, with lots of people and where you can draw attention to yourself. Know your route to a fire station, to Midtown Blue, or some other safe place likely to have police officers. When going to the bank to get large amounts of cash take a roundabout way to your next stop. Cut through a low-traffic residential area on your way. Several years ago a manager of a business in the neighborhood went to a bank at Ansley Mall, and then to another place or two before going to the McDonald’s on Cheshire Bridge where he was robbed. The assailants saw him leave the bank with a money bag, and followed him the entire time along Monroe, Piedmont, and Cheshire Bridge before seizing the opportunity to make their move at McDonald’s. Doing a loop through Morningside or Ansley Park would have increased the chances that he would have spotted someone follow​ing​ him.

The video with this installment of Prepared & Protected features a scenario in which a criminal poses as someone needing a jump start. This kind of a ruse is very effective in making you vulnerable to a robbery or assault. Other variants included keys locked in a car, in which they distract you by having you get something out of your car like a coathanger. Be very cautious and attentive to details in those scenarios. We’ve got plenty of harmless-looking but very dangerous criminals around that would do this – the druggies at Ponce & Boulevard, the trans prostitute gang, and street hustlers to name a few.


As we’ve pointed out before, having a neighborhood patrol greatly enhances the benefits of being prepared, and reduces the likelihood that we will have to deploy self-defense skills. The more patrol hours we can implement, the more effectively we can cut down on the unsavory characters that would bring harm to you. The neighborhood patrol serves as the backbone of a safe neighborhood. We want Midtowners to be well prepared & protected…


Home Invasion Suspect CAPTURED!

During routine research we noticed that the home invasion suspect in the 11/05 Penn Avenue incident has been CAPTURED. After the home invasion incident, police tracked the mobile phone taken in the home invasion to West End. Through photo lineups and other investigative work, Sean Anthony Jessie was identified as the suspect. Knowing that he is living on the streets and known to make use of shelters and other services, he was tracked down and locked up.

APD works very diligently on these kinds of cases, but the wild card is always what will happen in court. In researching his history, we find 27 prior arrests in the Fulton County jail alone, and a brief prison sentence several years ago. The most serious of his arrests generally took place after his prison stint, and it seems that Fulton County sentence​d​ him more leniently to the degree his criminal activity became more serious.

Hopefully he is toast this time, and we will court-watch him very proactively. We have posted his mugshot at the web version of this post.



Street Criminal Watch 11/19/2013



Trans Gang

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

Hosea Smith aka “Peaches,” was released from prison in Florida on 6/30/13, and came back to Atlanta. He was out in the trans area regularly during the summer. Not even two months later, on 8/18/13, he was back in jail for drug offenses along with warrants in Clark and Douglas Counties. On 11/08 he was booked back into the FC jail on failure to appear warrants. It is not clear if he ever was released to the street from any of those other jails – ​we suspect he was handed back to Fulton once the other places were done with him. He remains in jail not eligible for bond, and we are hoping that the Department of Corrections will be coming for him ​soon.

Ralph Odom made the news this week (AJC and Midtown Patch covered the story), when he got into a car with a stranger during the 4am hour and ended up getting shot on St. Charles. We all know who’s bad about getting into cars with strangers in the wee hours of the morning so we checked out the story. We find that Odom is among the trans prostitute gang, and has a history of vice arrests. He told police that he was walking home from the store, but we find that he somehow got stuck in the trans prostitute area for a couple hours. He was seen ​turning tricks during the two-hour period leading up to the incident. Showing a mugshot to some of the trans prostitutes the next night, we further confirmed that he was out turning tricks that night. A neighbor living at the crime scene found a freshly used condom on ​his porch, and this is not an area where prostitutes routinely service their johns any more. This unfortunate incident s​how​s​ what street prostitutes draw into the neighborhood.

Others

Dennis Stallings – Score a big one for the law abiding folks in the community. Remember the rash of robberies back in February? Well, that thug got bundled up and shipped off for good. The primary suspect, Dennis Stallings was handed 5 life sentences for several charges arising out of this incident. One of the attorneys from the Fulton DA’s office reported on her Facebook profile that both Stallings and his mother exhibited “anger and loss of temper” in the court room before Judge​ Kelly Amanda Lee​ handed down the sentence. A Midtowner summed it nicely on his Facebook profile: KARMA is when a guy decides to spend 2 hours of his life to do 5 armed drive-by muggings, 3 of them in Midtown, and gets caught by APD red-handed by a victim’s Find-My-iPhone app. JUSTICE is that in just 30 minutes, a jury sent him to no-parole prison for 5 life terms.

Donald Rayfield, known as “Ray-Ray” on the street, was recently locked up for possession of meth and shoplifting. Rayfield is a known street hustler and convicted burglar occasionally seen in the Ponce & Boulevard area. Despite his extensive prison record in South Carolina and Georgia, and chronic arrest history here, he was given another slap ​on the hand. Fulton County gave him probation for the possession of meth (on top of existing probation), and time served on the shoplifting charge. He was in jail a month.

Jeffrey Dills was recently paroled from prison, and wasted no time getting back to the drug life at Ponce & Boulevard. He is seen loitering among the druggies around that intersection, and came to our attention as a result of suspicious and nuisance activity. We have advised numerous businesses of his presence, and have been in contact with his parole officer. He has 22 entries in the Fulton County jail alone, for all kinds of offenses including Entering Auto, Forgery, and drug offense. His parole record shows a Macon address, but is supposed to be transferring to the Atlanta area office. He usually wears a red coat, but in warmer weather one can see he is all tatted up like a methhead felon.

We got word that Brandon Burchfield will not be recycled through the drug court program for the umpteenth time. The ADA handling the case has reviewed his history, and because of his demonstrated incorrigibility ,​ drug court will be a no-go this time. We received another report from someone in the neighborhood that hired him for yard work that he went into the house and stole some items including an iPad before skipping out without finishing the work he was paid for.

Jessie Williams, also known as Jessie Sanders, was finally caught breaking into a car this week. Last year a pattern of chronic car break-ins developed at a member business on Ponce. We monitored the location closely, studied the pattern, and determined a time frame in which the perp struck. During a stake-out, he was about to break into a car when he suddenly noticed he was being watched. While nothing happened that night, we had identified the person to watch from that point on. We watched him closely for 15 months, and noticed that the break-in pattern coincided perfectly with times he was not in jail.

​Last Sunday night into Monday (11/11) a customer of the business left a vehicle overnight, and we watched it closely​.​ ​Jessie Williams ​ was spotted​ crouched behind that car at 5am, ​and ​fled ​ as his presence on that property was investigated . ​A police unit was coincidentally driving along Ponce at that moment and stopped him for suspicious person running, and we we immediately alerted them that their subject had just broken into a car. Further, the car had been check ten minutes earlier and was known to be OK at that point. Upon arrest, he fought very violently with the police. Like so many other criminals, he has a very long rap sheet in Fulton County and with the Department of Corrections. He was booked on a number of charges arising from this incident – Entering Vehicle, Battery with substantial harm, and Obstruction. Once at the jail he generated another charge – attempting to remove weapon from a public official.

He was also working for a business on Ponce, but this business will not take him back should he be released from jail. He remains in jail as of this writing ineligible for bond. We have been waiting on this arrest for a long time…



Community continues to be victimized by Peachtree-Pine criminals

godzilla

Peachtree-Pine wreaks havoc on the community

Remember the Taxi driver lured to the Peachtree-Pine “shelter” and robbed, and the other situation when another person ​was ​stabbed ​outside of ​the building? One of our APD contacts shared another story today about that place, and pointed out that this suspect is a regular at Peachtree-Pine. This example adds to the many we hear about ​”the shelter” on a regular basis.

[Report edited to redact name of victim] On Friday, November 15, 2013, an APD patrol officer witnessed an attempted larceny at 550 Peachtree St. while working a traffic accident scene at that location. The victim had cleaned out her belongings from her undrivable vehicle so the tow company could pick it up and placed the following items on the sidewalk in between her feet so she could sign the citation: a bag containing an Apple IPad valued at $750.00, a purse containing an iPhone 4 valued at $300.00, a dog bed, a bag containing other miscellaneous work papers. As the victim was signing the ticket, the arrestee, later identified as Mr. Frank A. McMillan, ran up in between [Victim] and and the police and picked up all of her items in his arms and attempted to flee. The officer promptly arrest​ed​ Mr. McMillan and placed him in custody. All items were returned to Ms. Victim intact. Mr. McMillan was charged with Theft by Taking 16-8-2.

fc-20131115

Frank McMillan / FC Jail mugshot

So far there is no end to the Peachtree-Pine mess in sight. As AJC put it in a headline, Anita Beaty & Co. remain defiant. According to their report, the “Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless,” was scheduled for a court hearing a couple weeks ago to challenge their impending eviction, but this has been put off until February. In the meantime, their debt continues to soar, and even the queenpin of the massive haven of drug activity and street crime acknowledged around $2 Million in debt for this racket. This includes the water bill, which was a six-digit figure last we heard. By comparison, virtually nobody else in the city gets away with not paying the water bill. It is quite routine for the city to shut off the water over petty amounts in arears. At least until then, all kinds of criminal activity radiating from that warehouse will continue to thrive…

p-pine

Peachtree-Pine “shelter”

 

 

Highlights from the MPSA Patrol Logs – 10/2013

truck201311a

The MPSA Patrol truck in action

In a Nutshell:

  • 4 arrests
  • 18 911-calls
  • 12 direct calls
  • 10 OOT
  • 164 hours

From the patrol logs:
Sgt Cooper assisted with the arrest of Nakia Graham on an outstanding warrant. Sgt Cooper was working on another job when he heard a call over police radio of a wanted person sighted at 8th & Glendale. Sgt Cooper contacted the responding officers and warned them it was most likely Nakia Graham wanted in Fulton County for Stalking and Aggravated Stalking. Police intercepted Graham, but the warrant was not yet in the system. Sgt. Cooper advised that he had a paper copy of the warrant which had been arranged by our community prosecutor. Once Sgt. Cooper reached the scene with the warrant, Graham was taken to jail, where he remains as of this writing.

Sgt. Cooper and Sgt. McGinnis patrolled for MPSA during the annual Trick or Treat Halloween celebration in the 6th & Penn area.

Sgt Cooper made several calls to Georgia DOC Probation officers regarding several offenders including Jeff Reese.

328-mpsa-arrestThree of the four arrests were trans prostitutes. Tony Thompson, among the trans prostitute gang, was arrested by the patrol while loitering around for a city violation. Upon a search incident to the arrest he was found to have enough little liquor bottles to open a mobile liquor store. See picture at web version of this post. We previously reported on the arrests of Kyle Hamp and Justin Williams. This was also fewer arrests this time, which gives us an inkling of hope that the trans gang is getting the message. If they would only take it a step further and quit inflicting their criminal activity upon our neighborhood…

The only other arrest by the patrol was John Dingus – that was for panhandling at a business on Ponce. He has been in and out of jail 24 times in Fulton County alone – for auto theft, car break-ins, drug activity, burglary, and the whole works. We have been seeing him around Ponce & Boulevard for years. He was previously staying at an area motel, but was put out when we furnished criminal history along with reports of chronic criminal & nuisance activity in the area.

 

PREPARED & PROTECTED #4: THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME

A series on safer living

As the old saying goes, prevention is the best medicine. This week we offer a potpourri of ways to prevent security issues on the exterior of our properties, including landcaping and lighting.

The exterior of your home should be well-lit, but the lighting does not have to be bright or obtrusive. Just enough light to see whether someone is around. Consider using colored lighting which is not nearly as obtrusive as bright white lights – green works well especially with trees and vegetation. Motion sensors are also effective because you can tell immediately when someone trips the light. CFL bulbs are far more energy-efficient than the traditional incandecent bulbs.

blocking-window

A burglar’s dream: shrubbery completely blocking view of two windows.

Shrubbery should be designed so as not to effectively conceal intruders – keep all windows exposed to plain view. Bushes should either be no more than about 24 inches in height, or trimmed up at least 18 inches so a casual observer can readily see feet hiding behind them. Ladders and other aids for climbing should not be left in the yard. When you are out of town, arrange to have signs of absence removed from your yard. Accumulation of newspapers in the driveway, pizza flyers staying on the front door for days on end, and trash recepticles still at the street two days after pickup send a clear signal that nobody is home.

mach-n-knife

Example of weapons stashed in people’s yards in Midtown – a machete stashed by a trans prostitute, and a knife left hidden in the bushes by unknown subject.

Occasionally check your property for things stashed. The trans prostitutes, for example, are notorious for stashing weapons in shrubbery along with personal belongings and illegal drugs. Criminals breaking into cars will often take stolen bags to people’s yards to pick out from the loot, and then abandon the bag and its unwanted contents. If you find illegal drugs or firearms, do not touch those. In the case of illegal drugs, you would be in violation of the law by handling those, and a firearm may have been used in a crime. Notify the police immediately and watch the area if safe to do so. Knives and other weapons should be secured immediately and reported to the police. If you find loot, or signs of urban camping, please let us know so we can check it out and engage the most appropriate parties to deal with those. Personal belongings left by prostitutes and other street people should be put on the sidewalk or discarded (do not sift through contents – remove as-is) to make it clear you don’t want them using your property.

If you hear unusual noise outside your home, you should immediately investigate but be extremely careful about going outside in such a situation. Make sure you have a good view of all the nooks and crannies before going outside to investigate. It would probably be better not to go outside if you have not determined the source of concern – call the police or the patrol instead. We live in a busy and dynamic neighborhood and that is often why we like living here, but we also have a steady stream of prowlers and other undesirable elements roaming around the neighborhood – day and night. Some are even downright dangerous.

We leave you with a video depicting a dangerous trespasser situation. Like the other episodes of The Best Defense that we have shown you, it starts with the worst-case outcome, and works its way to a more optimal outcome – the intruder simply fleeing when motion-sensor lights come on. In such a scenario the perp could either be targeting you specifically, or could be fleeing from police canvassing the area.

Of course your neighborhood patrol reduces the likelihoood of encountering issues like these. Higher membership support increases patrol hours that cut down on the myriad of public security issues in the neighborhood. The more patrol hours we can fund, the more effectively we can target chronic street criminals and watch for random ones. And members should always take advantage of home checks while out of town (details at our website). We want Midtowners to be well prepared & protected…


It’s off to Prison for Car Break-in Perp

Allen Goddard

Allen Goddard

Some volunteers went to the Allan Goddard jury trial yesterday morning, and gave us this report. Allen Goddard was arrested several weeks ago in Old Fourth Ward, and has been known to be active in Midtown, Virginia Highland, Old Fourth Ward, and other neighborhoods. Now he is being held for pick-up by the Department of Corrections once they determine the most appropriate prison for him.

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

You remember that Goddard was the one that got nabbed on Glen Iris back in September and had a hearing a couple of weeks ago where he pled guilty and then decided he wanted a jury trial instead as is his right. He might as well have just accepted the judge’s sentence rather ​than ​just prolonging the agony as the jury returned a “guily” verdict in record time. Judge Hicks still gave him the same five to serve sentence as well as a banishment from Zone 6. He gave a sob story as to how he wants to do better in life, but is addicted to crack cocaine and just can’t help himself. Of course, he just wanted to get probation and get recycled through the drug program for the umpteenth time – but Judge Hicks reminded him that he is still on probation from a previous sentence. Hicks did give him his 12 month sentence for probation violation rolled into his 5 years though. Zone 6 Community Prosecutor Keith Lamar did a very good job of presenting the state’s argument, along with help from another ADA (name unclear).

That leaves one car break-in perp down, a bunch more to go…

Home Invasion Alert!

For the second month in a row, we have had a home invasion. On Tuesday afternoon, a resident on Penn Avenue was attacked in a home invasion. The victim had just entered her home, when someone knocked at the door. Since she was expecting a delivery momentarily she did not think anything of answering the door.

Robberies are a step away from a homicide...

The assailant, a black male in his 40s, forced his way inside as she unlocked the door. The thug beat her several times as he demanded various things, including ​keys to​ her vehicle. Since she was in the basement of the house she did not have any of those things with her. When she attempted to persuade him that her husband was upstairs with guns, the perp grabbed her cell phone, staple gun, and a pair of scissors and fled.

The phone was equipped with a tracking mechanism that led Police to West End, and detained a couple individuals in close proximity to the phone. The victim was taken to West End for a line-up, but none of those present was the one who forced his way into her home. They had just bought the phone from someone on the street – within about three hours of the incident.

Needless to say, the victim is badly shaken by the incident and was still very sore the next day. The incident remains under investigation, and we hope that a perpetrator will be identified soon and added to the prison population.

PREPARED & PROTECTED #3: SECURITY INSIDE OF YOUR HOME

A series on more secure living…

In this installment we bring you a potpourri of safety tips about preparing and protecting the interior of your home. We will address the exterior of your home in an upcoming installment.

A burglary or home invasion often occurs because someone failed to secure a door or window. Especially in the fall or the spring, it is nice to open windows at times for some fresh air. But sometimes we get complacent and leave doors unlocked, or simply forget to lock them altogether. As the old saying goes, prevention is the best medicine.

This of course can render you vulnerable to being in some way victimized by some of the too many criminals roaming around all over the place. Many folks have opened their windows for some fresh air, forgot about them, only to find their home burglarized when coming home from the grocery store or a nice walk in the park. In some cases folks have been caught by surprise by a criminal entering their homes, and had to resort to some very  serious defense measures.

Examples of the diverse situations encountered in Midtown over the years include waking up in the middle of the night to find a criminal rummaging through the house, raccoons getting into the house through an upstairs window left open while the residents left for the weekend (wild animals are very destructive), and some folks coming home to find a trans prostitute servicing a john (yes, in a perfect stranger’s home! It goes to show that they are known to case residents in the area). But most home intruders, especially when people living there are home, have very violent intentions (in many states this is presumed by law), and in many cases these situations do not turn out well for the homeowner.

Previously, we discussed levels of awareness. Ideally, we would be in “code white” in the comforts of our homes. But living in “code white” does not mean that we should allow ourselves to blindly live in la-la land when it comes to personal safety. The real world militates against the ideal, unfortunately. By leaving our doors and windows unsecured, we create a situation in which we should at very minimum be in a “code yellow” state of mind – relaxed but alert. In plain English, we should be conscious of unsecured doors and windows, and be quick to investigate when the dog is barking, etc.

Many windows have vent locks. This feature in many (especially newer) windows allow for them to open enough for some fresh air while securely closed enough to prevent someone crawling through. The screen should be closed to prevent unwanted animals from getting in. Security systems can be equipped so that something beeps whenever a door is opened. Sliding glass doors need special attention – they tend to be relatively easy for burglars to open. A peg drilled into the frame prevents them from being lifted off of the track.

Consider getting a keypad lock for at least one of your doors. That way you do not have to leave keys hidden, or keep up with who has keys. They can be quickly programmed with several codes, and can be changed immediately – without having to wait for Home Depot or Lowe’s to open again. You would have your usual code or two, plus a couple disposable codes ready to go. You can give a repairman the code to the door, and then quickly kill it once it is no longer needed. If you have an emergency while at work or out of town a keypad lock gives added flexibility in directing someone to your home to take care of the matter at hand.

You should also have some idea of what to do if someone comes breaking into your home. Have firearms and other defensive weapons strategically placed (ideally in more than one location) so that you can get to them quickly and safely. Some folks set up a specially designed “safe room”, and a few even go as far as building a secret room in the house Activate the panic button on both your home security system and your vehicle’s security system to make all the noise possible drawing attention to the situation. In case you ever need to barricade yourself in a bedroom or a “safe room”, it would be helpful to have a key (and only the revelevant key) attached to a small flashlight or other light to enable repsonding police officers to find it in the grass or bushes when you toss it out to them (see picture).

And let us not forget the value of home surveillance cameras. The latest carjacking on 9th Street illustrates how they can be instrumental in capturing violent criminals.

The video with this installment of our personal safety and defense series shows a worst-case home invasion scenario. Like the others we have shown you, it start with the worst-possible outcome (and most probable for most folks, then shows one outcome in with the good folks stopped the bad guys, and finally the most optimal outcome of that kind of scenarios thanks to the habit of doors being routinely locked. The video focuses on elderly folks, but nobody is too young to be victimized!

These are just a few ideas for safer living. The MPSA is here to take our preparation a bit further – with your neighborhood patrol. The more we can keep officers on patrol in the neighborhood, the less likely you will ever have to move beyond merely reading about the personal protection concepts we present to you. The more the patrol is actively watching the streets of our beautiful neighborhood, the fewer street criminals that will be roaming around awaiting an opportunity to victimize a Midtowner. We want Midtowners to be well prepared & protected…

Street Criminal Watch 10/31/2013

Some criminals coming under our radar recently…

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

1. Nyquarious Edwards – If we were to name a criminal of the year, it would probably be Nyquarious Edwards. He is the suspect in the 9th Street home invasion & carjacking incident. Edwards, a 17-year-old with significant criminal history despite his young age, was easily identified when footage from a home security camera went viral. US Marshals and the Atlanta Police Department tracked him down at a home near Stone Mountain and put him back in jail. Midtown Patch has the rest of this story.

2. Brandon Burchfield – Earlier this week Inman Park reported the arrest of a repeated street criminal who also frequents our area. According to their reports, their patrol chased down a suspicious individual. This suspicious individual, Brandon Burchfield, alledged tossed the shotgun as he attempted to flee through Freedom Park. As an unusual twist, Burchfield told the arresting officer about a shotgun hidden nearby, but that did not save him from arrest. According to police reports, a similar 12 Gauge shotgun was stolen during a recent burglary in that area, and police are investigating whether this is the same shotgun. He also had items that may have been stolen, but police have not yet ​linked them to any incidents. Once he was captured, the arresting officer found Burchfield to have heroin on his person and charged him accordingly, according to the police report.

Burchfield’s criminal history is loaded with felony convictions going back to his teenage years, including car break-ins, burglary, and drug offenses. He came under our radar several years ago when people reported him peddling stolen goods in the Ponce & Boulevard area. We called him out a couple years ago as a perfect example of why recycling these clearly incorrigible street criminals hurts the community. Since then we have been watching him closely. This criminal passed the point where it makes no sense to do anything other than to incarcerate them whenever the chance arises. Until Fulton County does this, people will continue to be burglarized and have their cars broken into. In the background we have been on his case rigorously all along, and thanks for the support from the neighborhood for our patrol we likely kept his latest incident from happening here.

3. We told you about a criminal recently released from prison and showed up here within a month. Jeff Reese was recently arrested for Forgery in the Fourth Degree and was booked into the Fulton County jail. Since he resumed being a regular at Ponce & Boulevard, we have been monitoring him closely and keeping contact with his parole officer. As soon as we saw his mugshot in the jail logs, we did not hesitate to contact the parole officer again. Next thing we knew, an SBPP (=State Board of Pardons & Paroles)​ entry was added to his booking record, and if convicted of his new charge he will likely be sent back down the road. He still has four years left on his current sentence, and a full revocation would be a nice breather for us especially since we have an inordinate number of felons driving the need for extra security measures in the neighborhood.

4. We recently received an email from someone that used to live a life of criminal activity in and around the neighborhood, and became a very bad situation. After a proactive round of court watching efforts, this individual wound up in prison for a few years and was released last year. It takes us at least a couple of years (prison time does not count) to feel comfortable with marking a file as inactive, provided of course that they do not show up in or around Midtown). These are the kinds of stories we like to hear – everybody loves a happy ending. We share with you an edited version (identifying hints removed):

Hello MPSA – this is the [name removed] you have on your watch. I am never coming back to GA. I have been home for almost a year. I am a active member of NA [Narcotics Anonymous]. I work 5 days a week at [Restaurant] and the best thing was going to prison because I got the help I needed!!! I was a very sick person. When I say sick I mean heart and mind. I would like to say I am sorry ​to ​every person who reads this. I would also like to thank the home owners on Kennesaw Avenue for speaking against me in court. If they had not I would have not [done the] the time I did. So thanks and don’t worry GA is not what’s up.

PREPARED & PROTECTED #2: AWARENESS IS YOUR FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

A series on more secure living

A Midtowner was recently robbed at gunpoint on the street while she was talking on her cellphone. Chances are, the assailant had driven by once and noticed the opportunity, and then turned around to make the hit. Since she was talking on the phone, she had no idea of the potential for danger until that thug had a gun in her face.

In most street robberies, the timeline of the incident – from when the victim first knows they are in trouble to the time they see them running off after the fact – all transpires in less than 30 seconds, and usually much less. In the above example, this course of events took place in less than 10 seconds. Granted, victims sometimes really have no chance to see warning cues, but in many cases a victim could have taken measures to get out of harm’s way.

Various levels of awareness for self-defense and personal protection purposes

Various levels of awareness for self-defense and personal protection purposes

Jeff Cooper (no relation to our Sgt. Cooper), a noted self-defense and firearms expert, devised a color-code scheme that describes the level of alertness and awareness of our surroundings: white, yellow, orange, and red. Other self-defense experts augment this scheme with an additional color: black:

  • White – unaware, unprepared, and unconcerned. Normal state of mind when we are in the safety of our home.
  • Yellow – attentive, but relaxed. Normal state of mind when out and about.
  • Orange – focus is directed at an immediate potential threat
  • Red – imminent danger exists, and you must take action to protect yourself. You must implement the decision of whether to run, hide/take cover, or fight.
  • Black – you are actively applying an appropriate level of justifiable force (firearm, pepper spray, or improvised weapon) to terminate an imminent threat to life and limb. Otherwise you are actively being robbed or hurt, and complying with the demands of the offender may be your safest course of action.

The resources linked below go into great detail of this color-code. The important take-away from this is that simple awareness of surroundings reduces your likelihood of falling victim to a violent crime. It is hard to say if a victim in a given case could have noticed trouble and planned an escape route in time. We are saying that, by not paying attention, you increase the chance that you will not notice that opportunity to take protective action, like hiding and getting pepper spray, whistle, etc. ready for deployment. On one hand we should be careful not to blame the victim. On the other hand, habits of being complacent, lazy, distracted, or preoccupied can seriously heighten our vulnerability to criminals in many ways. Sometimes split-second decisions make all the difference​.​

Really good details on this color-code system can be found at these links:

We would like to share with you a video of how awareness can better prepare you to keep safe. It goes through three potential outcomes to a scenario in which a woman is taking her child for a stroll in the park. It starts with the worst-case scenario, and works its way to the most optimal outcome. As they point out, an attack can occur on the most mundane of days and in the middle of your daily routines. While the probability is favorable that we will enjoy a nice walk in the neighborhood or make it home walking from work without incident, there is always that worst-case scenario to have a plan for. The second outcome in the video also shows boundary-setting in action, which was the topic from last week’s Prepared & Protected.


Having said all that, the MPSA is here so we can take preparation a little further. Increased support for our patrol program reduces the chances that a Midtowner would need to apply this kind of knowledge. Your neighbors at the MPSA coordinate funding for a public security patrol for the Midtown neighborhood, which serves as our primary strategy in eliminating the unsavory elements that do not belong in our vision for a safe and thriving neighborhood. We have gotten rid of most of them in the last ten years, but there are still a few around ​ and new ones come into the picture (though with decreasing frequency since we’ve been in operation).​

Routine examples for our service area include: drug addicts supporting their habits with muggings, burglaries and car break-ins, a gang of trans prostitutes casing folks for potential victimization, recent prison releases (more on the way) that hang around their old stomping ground until they figure out someplace else to go or get arrested again, and criminal minded prowlers roaming around day and night (including some that stalk and expose themselves to residents). Therefore your neighbors at the MPSA have more work to do, and our efforts depend on support for the neighborhood patrol. We want Midtowners to be well prepared and protected…

POLICE APPEAL: Who robbed our neighbor on 9th Street?

Who is this dangerous criminal?

Please share this page on Facebook, Twitter, or where ever you can – it needs to go viral. Somebody, somewhere knows who this thug is, and can contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta with that information. A reward of at least $3000 is being offered to anyone furnishing information leading to the conviction of this criminal.
CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

 

A resident on 9th Street was robbed at gunpoint at his home on Monday evening, and Midtown Patch covered the story. There is a little bit of good news to go with it – home surveillance video captured good images of the suspect. We have posted the video along with still shots of the suspect that perpetrated this crime.

Anybody with information should contact Crime Stoppers (info below) and reference the case as the 9th Street Robbery (of October 7th).  Other case information includes APD case #13-280-2446. This dangerous criminal really needs to be incarcerated for a long time before someone else gets hurt or victimized. Under Georgia law, armed robbery carries a criminal liability of 20 years imprisonment.

 Video of neighbor getting robbed at his home:

We would like to point out the value of high-quality home surveillance videos. We are seeing over and over that many criminals have found their way back to jail with the help of good security camera footage.  We urge you to consider installing the best quality ​cameras ​you can afford – better resolution enhances the likelihood that the criminals in question will be apprehended. Signs advising of cameras also have a deterrent effect.

Images of this dangerous criminal at large in the community:


Street Criminal Watch 10/11/2013

Some of the street criminals we are tracking



Allen Goddard, who claims a Decatur address but is likely living on the streets in the Midtown/O4W area, was arrested recently for breaking into cars. We have seen him a good bit in our neighborhood, but he was arrested in Old Fourth Ward. According to police reports obtained by our neighbors at the O4W Patrol, an officer on routine patrol spotted Goddard as he was hunched down next to the victim’s vehicle, and upon investigation was found to be in possession of items that were identified as being inside of the vehicle. We found 21 prior bookings (and official sources report 71) for this jack of all criminal trades – burglary, rape, entering auto, robbery, drug offenses, and every kind of theft offense imaginable. He remains in the Fulton County jail as fo this writing, and we are hoping that his long overdue prison sentence is in the works (Fulton County has to send him to prison). He was already on active probation and is being treated as a repeat offender.

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

Kyle Hamp – This trans prostitute appears almost every night without fail, and has been arrested by APD before as he blatantly solicited on our streets. He was arrested a couple months ago by APD street crimes unit (patrol in unmarked vehicles), and then he was arrested again this weekend as he was soliciting in front of someone’s home on Myrtle Street. Unfortunately he was released later in the day, and has come right back since then.

Justin Williams, a trans prostitute, was arrested by the patrol the next night for prowling & loitering, and obstruction. He, too, was released from jail within 24 hours. About a year ago he was arrested for theft, and then arrested again for giving false name and Pedestrian on Roadway (common among prostitutes).

William Jeffrey Reese got out of prison last month. He burglarized a home on Greenwood Avenue, and then was busted the next day as he borglarized a home in Brookhaven. He was on our watchlist, but he slipped through the cracks and made parole before we got to drafting a parole oppostion letter. He was given a ten year sentence running until 2018, so he was released about halfway through. That means he will be a jaywalking ticket away from going back to prison for the next five years. The bad news is that he has been seen in the last couple of days around Ponce & Bouelvard. Information coming out of these encounters leads us to believe he needs to be watched closely. We have posted his parole picture at the web version of this post, and we need to know if you ever see him around.

Another criminal up for parole, and who is not slipping through the cracks, is Timothy Kozak. On the street and in porn films featuring area street people he was known as “Jersey.” Kozak is one of the Three Burglateers caught in action with the help of the MPSA Patrol, and was later tied to other burglaries in Midtown and Virginia Highland. His ten-year sentence from that case will max out in 2018. Many of the street people told us that this street hustler was among the very worst criminal characters when he was here. We certainly do not want him back, and we have sent a parole opposition letter to that effect.

The other Burglateers, Jason McGuire and Jonathan Wells, got lighter sentences in that case. McGuire was found murdered (remains unsolved) shortly after being released to probation in the case, and Wells is still on the streets up to his same old tricks. When he is not in jail he can seen around the community strutting around with a gait so characteristic of meth-addicted street hustlers. He often wears a bandana.

Kenneth Lamb will be released from prison in December when his latest sentence maxes out, so we are bracing for another round of dealing with this dangerous criminal. Lamb served 20 years in prison for three different rape convictions, and then pursued a life of street crime and nuisance activity. He is known as the “barefooted panhandler” around the neighborhood. A pattern of menacing conduct brought him under our radar, and he presents a critical reason why we need the patrol.

Picture Gallery of these Criminals:

PREPARED & PROTECTED – #1: BOUNDARY SETTING AND DE-ESCALATION

One of the links in the latest eblast erroneously pointed to this page as the one about the carjacking suspect. Police are still seeking to identify the carjacking suspect – more at that page

A series on more secure living

attack

Some of the street people can be very aggressive and dangerous.

In our area we are afflicted with an inordinate number of street people, and aggressive begging is quite common in public places around here. Most of the street people are heavily into drug use – that is why they have degenerated to living on the street. This arrangement puts us in a situation where we can suddenly find ourselves in imminent danger.

When confronted with a menacing and potentially dangerous individual such as an aggressive begger, you should simply reply – only one time – with something like, “I’m sorry sir/ma’am, I don’t have anything for you.” Build and maintain a safe distance (at least 21 feet) and address them firmly, and with respect and dignity.

If they become belligerent, firmly demand that they stay back. Do not engage in arguing with them, do not cave in to their begging, and do not turn your back to them. If it comes to this point you should have pepper spray and other defensive measures ready for action, and to draw attention from others to the situation (a whistle is great for that). Use commands like “Please keep away from me” and “stand back.” Your goal is to command the situation enough to safely remove yourself from it, but ready to run or deploy defense measures like pepper spray.

Once you have safely removed yourself from the situation, it should be reported to police immediately before someone gets hurt.

Contrary to common belief, your imminent danger zone is no less than 21 feet. This is based on something known as the Tueller Drill, a standard training drill in police academies and self-defense courses. A Sgt. Tueller devised a drill which quantified an imminent danger zone, based on the idea that in the time a trained officer can draw his weapon, aim, and fire two accurate shots, someone lunging at you with a crowbar or a knife can cover 21 feet.

Most of us do not have such training and could probably use a little more distance for optimum safety. When confronted by an aggressive individual on the street – whether an aggressive panhandler, a trans prostitute asserting territory, or a drunk individual gone over the edge – it is critical to build and maintain a safe distance as you work your way out of the situation.

We share with you an episode dealing with irrational street people and aggressive panhandlers. They portray two different scenarios in the excerpt linked below, and show how your response can maximize your chances of coming out of that situation unscathed and without any legal complications afterwards.

Of course the more membership support we draw from the neighborhood, the less likely a Midtowner would need to improvise personal security with this kind of knowledge. The MPSA Patrol works to reduce the presence of potentially dangerous individuals from the neighborhood. We want Midtowners to be well prepared & protected…

MPSA Patrol Activity – September 2013

General Notes

MPSA Patrol in action

MPSA Patrol in action

During the month of September, the patrol assisted with 22 calls for service via 911, took another 19 calls directly from members, checked on the homes of 12 members during absences, and logged 193 hours. 7 street criminals were added to the jail logs, a number driven by the night shift targeting the trans prostitute gang. This is down from 11 arrests during the month before, so there is an inkling of hope that we are getting the message across to these criminals that they have no place in our vision for the neighborhood we call home.

Some highlights:

Sgt. Cooper responded to a business robbery on Ponce, in which staff members and customers were tied up.

Sgt. Cooper and MPSA Board member Steve Gower participated in a street light survey with City of Atlanta officials. A new light was added on Myrtle Street to better light up the area afflicted with the trans prostitute gang.

Sgt. Cooper discovered an unsecured home, and notified the owner. There appeared to have been no criminal causes to the door being left ajar.

Sgt Cooper also assisted with the investigation of an armed robbery with a handgun in the vicity of 8th & Vedado. He also spoke with several residents about it.

The night patrol spotted two johns in the same car being serviced by a trans prostitute. The prostitute and one of the johns were arrested. The other john fled barefooted before he had a chance to put his clothes back on. Several APD units canvassed the area for the subject with no clothes on, but were unsuccessful in locating him. The clothes, wallet, and cell phone of the fugitive were left in the vehicle when it was towed, so we imagine the offender had quite a challenge getting away from the area. No suspicious person reports came in later.

The next night another trans prostitute fled from the patrol officer, and officers canvassed the area for that individual – unfortunately without success. Reliable witnesses identified this regular criminal (“Miss BXI”), and we know his car (a dark blue Honda Civic). His car was being watched, but he managed to slip away. According to witnesses, he always hides when the police come around, and is among the most aggressive of the trans prostitute gang. He is being tracked down but we have no word on progress in this investigation.​

Street Criminal Watch 9/24/2013


Falandus Gray - Fulton County jail mugshot

Falandus Gray – Fulton County jail mugshot

WANTED CRIMINAL: FALANDUS GRAY

A warrant has been put out for Falandus Gray for recent car break-ins. Our APD contacts tell us that he has over 40 prior arrests in his history, mostly for theft related charges. He is currently on active probation in Fulton County for previous cases of entering auto.  ​ He is known to hang around Midtown.  If you see him, please call 911 to report where you saw him and what he was wearing.​


OTHER STREET CRIMINALS ON OUR WATCH LIST

Armaine Britt, among the most aggressive and persistent among the trans prostitute gang, was recently sent back to prison. We received information that he was on felony probation in another jurisdiction. He generated some cases here despite being on probation. We notified his probation office with the facts of the case, and that triggered a probation revocation hearing in Cobb County. He is now serving the rest of that probation in prison, and we will monitor his status and vigorously oppose any proposed parole dates. His prison sentence maxes out in late 2015. Prison mugshot, head shaved and all, posted below.

Nakia Graham (member contributed field photo)

Nakia Graham (member contributed field photo)

Nakia Graham has been the subject of police reports in the neighborhood for menacing conduct and stalking area women. Our community prosecutor sent us word that he has been indicted on two separate cases of aggravated stalking, and warrants have been put out for him. He remains at large, and is seen around the neighborhood frequently. He is known to camp at vacant properties and sleep in portable toilets. He was previously in prison for aggravated assault when he attacked someone with a brick. We therefore urge caution when approaching any portable toilet until he is securely in jail.

Amanda Davis was released from prison in Indiana, and eventually came back to Atlanta. She has been hanging around the Ponce & Boulevard area, and has been seen walking around the residential area. Amanda came under our radar several years ago as a chronic prostitute, and it took a warrant to get her to leave town. That warrant expired during the course of her incarceration, and now we’ve got her on our hands again…

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

Andrew Arnett maxed out of prison earlier this month on a sentence for burglary in Gwinnett County. But we received the good news that he still has an old case here in Fulton County, and the Department of Corrections turned ​him ​over to Fulton authorities rather than release him onto the street. He remains in the Fulton County jail as of this writing, and fingers crossed that he will be sent back to prison. This would yield some more time that we would not have to worry about his criminal activity.

Tiffy remains a chronic nuisance issue for residents and businesses in the southwest portion of the service area. Tiffany Hendricks chronically loiters at businesses and residential properties in that area. He has been booked into the Fulton County jail 48 times on mostly petty offenses. This figure does not count his city jail bookings – those would be in addition. ​He comes back to our service area every time he is released from jail. Since most of his arrests are petty offenses, devising a plan to get rid of him will be a challenge.

Stan Spradlin is back in jail where he belongs. Zone six arrested him on a burglary charge for a case in Virginia Highland. Police ha​d been working to locate him when someone reported a suspicious person. Spradlin was going door-to-door ​ looking for work​ in the VaHi area​. With the help of some ​VaHi ​residents they were working to lure him back with promises of more work. Before they had a chance to ​implement the plan, Spradlin generated an unrelated suspicious person call, and was apprehended. Kudos to some folks in Virginia Highland. Though he is not suspected in any Midtown burglaries as far as we know, he often hangs out among the drug culture at Ponce & Boulevard.

Mugshots of these criminals:

 

 

Trans Prostitute Gang update 9/24/2013

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

NOTE: Minor clarifications made 10/01/13

The trans prostitute gang is evolving into a​n​ increasingly dangerous situation because they are bringing drug dealing into the ​neighborhood. In recent weeks drug dealers have been menacing area residents as they deal drugs through the trans prostitutes. More and more dope boys are marauding around among the trans gang. While this problem is still predominantly street prostitution, the drug nights are occurring with increasing frequency. This situation highlights the need for a well-funded patrol in order to most effectively suppress and eventually eradicate this threat.

Looking over the last ten years, here is what we think is happening:

tgang01

Pack of trans prostitutes roaming around the neighborhood.

Ten years ago their activity was largely limited to an extreme volume of nuisance activity. With time they have become increasingly aggressive, and now they are bringing in more drug dealers into the neighborhood.

Ten years ago we had three types of johns coming around. 1. Johns looking for females and disappointed that these are transvestite or (usually) transgender, and turn around. It was still cruising traffic. 2. Johns looking for real females, but will take what they find anyhow. They might not come back, and would not have come had they known it was trans prostitutes rather than what they had in mind. Still business for the trans criminal gang to capitalize on though. 3. Johns specifically looking for trans prostitutes. They will continue to go to where they think they can find trans prostitutes.

Retaliation by a trans prostitute for calling 911.

Retaliation by a trans prostitute for calling 911. They also cut the upholstery inside the vehicle with some kind of blade.

Over the last ten years we have wiped out ​most of the first two groupings of johns, leaving only a small number of those into a niche market of trans prostitutes. Those are very few in number, and not enough that it would be lucrative for the remaining few but recalcitrant trans prostitutes. Most of the trans criminals on the street are not making a pickup at all, while the ​​sharks score better than average. But ​these street criminals will loiter around ​ the neighborhood​ all night long every night. There may be five or six johns for about a dozen or more prostitutes active on a given night, and a few sharks are likely racking in most of those.

Then there are two basic groupings of trans prostitutes – drive-ins (and some of them drive nice cars), and walk-ins. We are seeing very few drive-ins coming in regularly – they most likely have other sources of income and don’t find the street worthwhile any more. Many of them make their pickups online or by phone for the most part, eliminating the necessity to even afflict our neighborhood. Another trans prostitution stroll has emerged far away on Memorial Drive in the Stone Mountain area, so that helps us some. When they do appear here, they appear mostly on weekends when there is more john and drug-buying traffic.

Retaliation by a trans prostitute. Rock thrown so hard that it dented the car.

Retaliation by a trans prostitute. Rock thrown so hard that it dented the car.

That leaves the walk-ins – those living on the street and don’t know anywhere else to go. During the day they hang around the Peachtree-Pine “shelter” – another nightmare affecting multiple neighborhoods, and at night they turn tricks and work for drug dealers in our neighborhood. ​In our neighborhood, they are able to find free food, free shelter and income.  ​The fact that they are living on the street, in turn, probably helps to get rid of some johns because the trans prostitutes they do find here smell like goats after not bathing for days on end. This segment of the gang keeps the pot boiling. On most nights, with exceptions primarily on weekend nights, the prostitutes are not picking up one john after another back-to-back like they were ten years ago.

tgang02

Trans gang making their presence known.

To compensate for the loss of john traffic, the trans prostitutes are increasingly branching out into drug dealing under the guise of street prostitution – with suppliers cruising around all night.  This will likely escalate into a very perilous situation for the neighborhood if drastic measures are not taken to suppress and eradicate this gang. With the drug activity shifting from use to dealing, the presence of this gang has shifted from the most chronic problem to the single biggest threat to the Midtown experience.  ​Ironically, this is happening in the shadow of the HIDTA building at Juniper & 4th, the agency that coordinates major drugs busts in the metro area.

We close with a report from a recent weekend:

Saturday night into Sunday – Around 3am [Neighbor1] alerted me about a guy sitting in a car in front of his place (xxx Myrtle, on the xth Street side). [Trans prostitutes] were flocking to this drug car like children flocking to the ice cream truck. We called the police about him, and they came out. He tried to drive away when police arrived, but got some blue lights. He was checked out, but was let go. I did see the officer take a gun back to his squad car with him, I guess to disarm him while he was being checked for warrants. He had been sitting at that spot for nearly an hour, with several [trans prostitutes] coming to and from his car, exchanging numbers, etc. This is clearly a drug car, and not a john.

Then things got really hairy. Somebody in a white car was shouting something at us as we walked down Myrtle. He kept pulling forward and backing up as we sought cover behind a parked car, like he was looking to get a clear view of us. Very threatening situation. He finally drove off. But then some guy came walking along the side of xxx Piedmont in a very menacing way, and we went into [neighbors building] and hunkered down. He ​may have been ​the one in the white car that had just drove off – the timing was exactly right for him to park over on Piedmont and walk back over. [Neighbor1] and I retreated into that building. He came to the door, reaching into his pocket as if for a gun, while I am on the phone with 911. He finally went away. The police never came.

Conditions were comparable to Boulevard and Parkway Drive, with drug boys hanging around with the prostitutes.

Music Midtown 2013 info

musicmidtown-logoMusic Midtown will take place next Friday and Saturday (September 20/21), but preparations have started today. Effective today, a portion of 10th Street will experience closures, and over the course of the next week the closures will expand to a hard closure of 10th Street between Piedmont and Monroe. Other streets will be affected. There will also be some closures in the days afterwards while they break down the venue.

In response to questions from the neighborhood, Major Whitmire put out the following information:

  • Due to Public Safety and Homeland Security reasons we do not publish or release Officer deployment or positions. There is no “standardize plan” for events. No two events in the park are alike. Each event has its own challenges . Each plan is different. Standardized in this text is just general event related items.
  • Per ordinance the 1500 foot range is measured from the event area outward in a circle around the event. Sgt Clark and his people have always expanded the definition to be 1500 from the park extending into the neighborhood. This takes the area back to about 7th street.
  • Parking enforcement south of the park will be strictly enforced by Park Atlanta, with support from Officers working the event out to the mandatory 1500 foot requirement. Park Atlanta will enforce beyond the 1500 ft requirement. Neighborhood parking permit areas will be enforced. Please make sure everyone has the proper permit, properly displayed to avoid a citation and /or towing. All calls to 911 regarding event related traffic or parking will be immediately dispatched to these units who will handle. There will be multiple supervisors working this event.
  • Emergency no parking signs have been used in the past to reinforce existing “ no parking “ areas. No new “No Parking” areas were created unless included in the originally submitted safety plan and approved. This has created an issue for many in the south of park neighborhood who have complained about their use. These signs will no longer be used in this area. Vehicles parked in existing no parking areas will be issued citations. Vehicles parked in area marked no parking with a tow designation will be subject to a citation and towing. Any vehicle parked in a manner as to create a safety hazard will also be subject to towing.
  • Please remember that all events held in the park are reviewed by the NPU. The event coordinators, security and traffic coordinators are present, ready to answer any questions and to present their plans. Please make sure that everyone that has interest in these events attends.

Please monitor our Facebook page for any updates. Nextdoor Midtown and Midtown Patch will also be worth watching for updates.

Pictures from National Night Out 2013

We had our National Night Out party on August 6th on 6th Street.


MPSA Patrol Activity – June 2013

In a nutshell:

During the month of June 2013, the MPSA Patrol made 2 arrests, assisted with 16 calls via 911, took another 16 direct calls for service via the MPSA Member hotline, performed out-of-town checks for 22 members, and logged 124 hours of service for the Midtown community.

Notables from the Patrol Logs:

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

CRIMINALS UNWANTED

6/5/2013  -  Individual walking in the middle of the street near Argonne & 9th was found to be carry burglary tools. This individual, identified as Gregory Lyons, was arrested for Pedestrian in Roadway and possession of burglary tools. Subsequent research shows 25 bookings in Fulton County alone. The Georgia Department of Corrections shows 7 periods of imprisonment. Late in his criminal career Fulton County started giving him drug court sentences – to no avail of course. Mugshot below.

6/17/2013 – Sgt Cooper reported a broken manhole cover at 4th & Myrtle.  It was fixed within a week.

6/17/2013 – Sgt Cooper spoke to the owner/manager of the Gym at Ponce & Penn regarding the cutting back of vegetation next to the sidewalk to discourage loitering and car break ins in the area.  He cut it at once  and it made a huge difference. We have not seen loitering at that corner since.

6/18/2013 – Sgt McGinnis found a gutter that was knocked off a house during a storm while on an out-of-town check.  The owner was notified.

6/20/2013 – Sgt McGinnis responded to a Robbery by Snatch (Cell Phone) at Argonne & 6th.

6/26/2013 – Nakia Graham was arrested for Public Indecency at Myrtle & 8th.  He was standing on a second floor balcony of the Apartments fondling himself in front of a neighbor who called MPSA.  Sgt Cooper found him behind the apartments and immediately arrested him with the help of a backup APD officer.  While they were processing his arrest several neighbors came forward and told about a similar pattern of ongoing similar conduct by Graham. More about him in a later Eye, but for now we have posted a mugshot below.

6/27/2013 – While working for MPSA, Sgt McGinnis helped APD Officers chase down three Juvenile Burglary perpetrators from Argonne to North & Parkway.

6/29/2013 – MPSA launched the overnight shifts to target ongoing criminal and nuisance activity during those hours, most notably street prostitution and other criminal activiy by that trans gang. We will have more about this in an upcoming Eye.

June 2013 – Several five-day stickers were placed on cars.  Two were towed by APD the rest were removed by their owners.

June 2013 - Several Packages found during out-of-town checks were removed for safekeeping. Note to the Membership: Please cancel shipments if you are going to be out of town, or sign up for delivery notifications if available (in most cases you may also sign up a friend or neighbor for these notifications).

June 2013 - Sgt Cooper continued to work with a business on Ponce to eliminate the homeless encampment in the bushes at their easement at Ponce. A nearby business has had several car break-ins due to this.

Alert: Rash of Robberies

UPDATE: There was a 5th incident on Wednesday (7/10), during the late afternoon hours, also at Juniper & 7th. 11Alive ran a story on Thursday: http://www.11alive.com/news/article/298626/40/Another-city-neighborhood-hit-by-violent-crimes

We seem to be experiencing a rash of street robberies in the neighborhood. In the last four days at least four robberies have occurred in the MPSA service area. We do not yet know if there have been more. Here are the recent incidents known to us:

Robberies are a step away from a homicide...

Robberies are a step away from a homicide…

7/06: During the 2am hour two victims were robbed at gunpoint at Myrtle & 6th. According to the police report narrative (#131870352) they were returning to a car after having visted the clubs. As they walked along 6th and then turned north onto Myrtle two black males approached them with a silver handgun.The suspects made off with wallets and cell phones.

7/08 – also during the 2am hour: Police responded to a pedestrian robbery call at Juniper & 7th. Two victims reported being followed by two black males, who suddenly ran up on them with a silver handgun. Once the suspects had the loot they fled northbound on Juniper. Police canvassed a wide area for the suspects, but were unable to locate them. #131890271

7/09 – during 3am hour – no report available yet. The victim was walking east on 6th Street between Juniper and Piedmont when two black males ran up on him from Juniper. He was robbed of wallet, car keys, and cell phone. With the help of tracking software, the iPhone was last mapped at I-85 & Buford Highway Connector, but we have not heard any updates since.

7/09 – about the same time: An injured male flagged down neighborhood watch to report having been robbed. This individual had been robbed at Juniper & 5th. It is believed that the same two black males robbed him, and then ran to rob the previously mentioned victim on 6th Street. This victim was transported to the hospital.

A couple take-aways to leave with you:

1. As always, be careful out there late at night.

2. Be sure tracking devices are set up on your cell phones. For iPhones, Apple offers a free app called “Find my iPhone.” With that information you can log into any computer and locate your device. This app can also lock your phone down, and cause it to give a signal for easy locating around the house (should it slip between sofa cushions, etc.). We imagine other products come with similar capabilities.

3. Late-night patrons of area restaurant bars and restaurants should be on higher alert right now.

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