Highlights from our Watchlist (4/21/14)

April 20, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 

Mugshots and field photos of these offenders below.

Older mugshot of Tywong McCoy most resembling current appearance

Older mugshot of Tywong McCoy most resembling current appearance

1. TYWONG MCCOY ALERT – Psychopath Tywong McCoy, who served a prison sentence of several years after a pattern of stalking women in the neighborhood and exposing himself to them, has been prowling around the neighborhood lately. Police were notified of his presence twice in the last week, but unfortunately they had no cause to arrest him. We need to monitor this individual as we work to find some grounds to have him kept off the streets, and would like to know about sightings. We have posted mugshots below.

2. Kenneth Lamb – A psychopathic individual noted for menacing people in the community, previously served 20 years for rape, only to go on to a life 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 was released from jail and continued on probation in February. The sex offender registry shows him claiming a Sylvan Rd. address, but we still need to watch his case closely.

3. Will Gibson – Gibson was arrested in early February for possession of cocaine. Gibson has been living in the Ponce Hotel several years, and came to our attention when the patrol arrested him in 2010 for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute along with a known prostitute. He had previously served in prison for aggravated assault. He was released earlier this month on a pre-trial signature bond.

4. Christina Camarda – Another one from the Ponce Hotel was the subject of a drug arrest. Camarda has been in and out of the Ponce & Boulevard drug culture for several years, and has prior criminal history for drug offenses, prostitution, and theft. She has also served time in prison for use of stolen credit cards. She comes from a well-to-do family in Dunwoody, and her father was on the board of trustees for a Christian school in the Atlanta area.

5. Daniel Holt, who burglarized a house in 2011, maxed out of prison in early March. He has extensive criminal history, and we need to know about it if anyone sees him. Since his release from prison he has been arrested for criminal trespass, and looked very drugged out in his mugshot.

6. Antwan Manuel, among the trans prostitutes, was arrested on a probation violation. He has previous convictions for Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, and is currently charged with violating the terms of that sentence.

7. Tiffy – Tiffany Hendricks, known as Tiffy on the street, has reached his big 5-0 since we last reported him. He was booked into the Fulton County jail for the 51st time (this would be in addition to bookings in City jail!). He was picked up on March 8th for public indecency. Tiffy loiters obtrusively in the Piedmont & 3rd area when not in jail. His history consists mainly of petty offenses like Criminal Trespassing, though with all his priors for public indecency, he should be eligible for felony charges. He is also known to beg at the Publix and Walgreens at Piedmont & North.

8. Bobby James Perry – It has come to our attention that longtime street criminal Bobby James Perry has ​been ​aggressively hitting up on people for money at Ansley Mall. He has been on our watchlist since 2008 when he was aggressively panhandling and prowling around the neighborhood. When we finally identified him ​after ​a year, we found that he was a co-defendant with Timothy Kozak for a 2008 burglary in Virginia Highland. Kozak was one of the “Three Burglateers” arrested with the help of Sgt. Cooper, and was later tied to additional burglaries, including at least one with Perry. Perry has a long jail and prison history dating back to at least 1988.

Perry was released from prison last year, and immediately cropped up at Ponce & Boulevard. After someone reported him sleeping on the sidewalk in front of someone’s home, he was found to have a warrant from another county and stayed in jail there for a little while, but has since returned to the area. While his latest issues have been at Ansley Mall, he is known to prowl around all over the map. Many of us shop at Ansley, and should be aware of his presence there. If he hits up on you, report him to the manager or security officer of the store you are visiting. We urge people not to give to beggars, as this tends to perpetuate their presence. We have found a great many of these types to be lifelong criminals.

9. On a brighter note, one individual criminally active last year among the group of male prostitutes is now working at an area business and has hopefully left life on the streets behind. We’d sure love to see more of this kind of progress.


Mugshots and field photos of these offenders below:


Truck Driver picking up prostitutes

April 20, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 

During the 3am hour of Monday March 24th, a male driving a truck cab came through the residential area of the neighborhood to pick up street prostitute Richard Kelly in front of someone’s home. He was followed to the Ansley Mall area until he realized he was being followed and dumped the prostitute at Piedmont & Westminster Drive (in Ansley Park) and drove on. The Midtown resident stayed in that area a few more minutes to make sure the john did not attempt to pick up the prostitute again, when the prostitute finally disappeared into Ansley Park. A few minutes later the same truck cab was back in Midtown and picked up another prostitute on Ponce – Hosea Williams. Based on the pictures taken at the time, the truck cab belongs to an All-Star Championship Fleet Services, which is apparently based in Illinois.

From time to time, we see a truck cab or someone else in a company vehicle cruising through to pick up a prostitute. When you see those, please report them to 911. Also, try to document information from a company vehicle cruising in the residential area so we can attempt to notify companies about their staff members picking up prostitutes in a residential area. We have posted pictures of this truck cab, and are working on contacting this company (they do not seem to have a website). We seek to make examples of johns like because they underscore the need for enhanced legislation in order to incarcerate individuals hurting neighborhoods like ours.

Richard Kelly, the first street street prostitute, served a ten-year prison sentence for aggravated child molestation. According to a Channel 46 story in 2011, Kelly molested two toddlers, and the victims told interviewers from Channel 46 that they continue to feel traumatized by the affair even all these years later. They described him as a “menace to society” and a “risk to everyone in sight.” It remains to be understood why Fulton County released him from the requirement to register as a sex offender. He has been on our watchlist for the last two years.

Hosea Smith aka “Peaches,” another obtrusive criminal among the trans street prostitutes, was released from prison in Florida on 6/30/13, and immediately returned to Atlanta to turn tricks on a nightly basis in our neighborhood. He has been in and out of jail for drug offenses along with warrants in other jurisdictions and probation violations. In 2011 he attacked a resident at 3rd & Piedmont. He remains a poster child for why we need enhanced legislation to incarcerate street prostitutes inflicting their criminal activity upon residential areas.

Pictures of the truck cab and these two street prostitutes below:

 

Call for Volunteers: Dogwood Festival beverage booth

March 19, 2014 · Posted in Announcements, Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR THE BEVERAGE BOOTH DURING THE DOGWOOD FESTIVAL

dogwood2014

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

February 16, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 

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

February 16, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 
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

February 16, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 
truck-in-action01

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

January 8, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 


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

January 8, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 


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

January 8, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 
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

January 8, 2014 · Posted in Eye on Midtown · Comments Off 
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…

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