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VaHi Safety Team Report

August 8, 2020

Table of Contents

Street Racing and "Drifting"


Image of Vehicles Being Impounded Courtesy of CM Dustin Hillis Facebook. 

Recently we have experienced several incidents of street racing during overnight hours. In addition to being disruptive to residents peace and sleep, this behavior is quite dangerous. Drifting, when practiced legally on a closed track is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. If you have noticed rubber left behind in parking lots and some of our larger intersections in the morning, it is due to amateurs attempting this behavior on our city streets. These events are gathering large crowd of spectators who are partying and shooting off fireworks, adding to the disruption of the neighborhood.
In response to these illegal gatherings Councilmember Dustin Hillis, District 9 introduced and council passed a street racing ordinance (20-O-1361) which makes it illegal to organize or be a spectator at such events. The actual racing was already illegal providing for drivers to be charges and vehicles impounded. You can read the text of the ordinance at the link.

Significant Incidents

Reports provided by Virginia-Highland Security Patrol
Aggravated Assault Virginia Av/Park Dr
On June 22 police responded to a call regarding a fight. On arrival, the victim reported that he had been assaulted the day prior near the intersection of Virginia Ave and Park Dr.  The victim reported that an unknown male struck him in the back of the head with a skateboard around 6:05 PM on June 21.  The victim further reported that he had to receive treatment at a hospital and received six staples, though officers were unable to observe the injury.  Officers inquired why the victim did not call the police immediately when the incident happened.  The victim reported that he did call 911 while driving away from the scene but did not stay to meet police.  The victim further advised that his girlfriend tried to independently make a report later that evening but the report could not be taken without the victim present.
The victim reported that he was driving on Virginia Ave near Park Dr when he came upon a large group of people on skateboards blocking the roadway.  The victim said he drove around the group which apparently upset one of the males in the group, who then hit the victim’s car window with a skateboard.  The victim reported that he stopped his car, though it had not suffered any damage.  When he got out of his vehicle, he was hit in the back of the head with a skateboard by an unknown male.
The victim advised that he had video footage of the incident that he found on an Instagram account, though it was not clear how this was located.  The victim told officers that the video had since been deleted, but he had saved it on his cellphone and he played it for officers.
The video starts with a large crowd of people that did not appear to be in a roadway. The video then skips as if something was cut or missing from it and shows the victim standing outside his vehicle by the driver side door, facing a group of white males.  The victim appeared to be engaged in a verbal dispute with the males, but there is no audio.  The victim reported that he was initially kicked in his genital area by one of the males, but there were several people blocking the view so it was impossible to see this on the video.  The video then shows the victim punching in the air towards one of the males, apparently in response to the kick.  One of the males with a skateboard then lunges at the victim but does not make physical contact.  The victim is then seen charging at another male, after which he is struck in the back of the head by a skateboard wielded by a white male in a light-colored shirt.  The victim appears to grab a skateboard from the ground and walk back toward his vehicle, at which point the video ends.
The video did not show the start of the incident before the victim exited his vehicle to confront the crowd of males with skateboards, and the victim could not explain the missing parts of the video so it was difficult to understand what transpired in the missing footage.
The responding officer contacted Zone 6 investigators who advised the victim that he should visit the Zone 6 precinct to make a statement and complete an information report.  The officer also asked dispatch to check 911 call logs for the time the incident occurred.  Dispatch found a pedestrian struck by vehicle call and two calls for gun shots in the area.  Police asked the victim if he owned a gun, which the victim confirmed and acknowledged he had a carry permit and had the gun with him the day of the incident.  The victim then admitted that he "brandished" the gun but did not fire it.  The victim was asked why he omitted this information, which he blamed on being “foggy” from the staples in his head.  The victim then became increasingly uncooperative and refused to answer any further questions.  After further attempt at conversation, the victim became verbally combative and told me to leave.
 
Commercial Burglary 752 Highland Av
On July 23, at approximately 6:13 AM, police responded to a commercial burglary call from an employee of Neighbor’s bar.  The employee had arrived at the business around 6:00 AM and discovered that the left glass door was broken out of the north facing building at the corner of St Charles Ave NE and N Highland Ave NE.  Two security cameras captured footage of two figures approaching the bar between 4:00 am and 4:12 am. The camera showed a possible light skinned black male enter the business and make his way around the bar. The suspect was dressed in a black or dark button front short sleeved shirt and short pants, and had a full short Afro-styled haircut and a “five o’clock shadow” facial hair.
The suspected entered the business carrying a paper shopping bag that he set down after pulling a bottle of alcohol from the top shelf.  The suspect passed multiple bottles of wine and spirits to his partner, suspect #2 - a skinny white or even lighter skinned male also with a shopping bag. The second suspect appeared to have on a white tee shirt with a long-sleeved shirt tied about his waist and a light-colored ball cap.
The reporting employee stated that approximately six bottles were stolen that retailed for $300 dollars in loss.  The video of the incident was shared with Zone 6 investigators.  No suspects at this time.

Join Virginia-Highland Security Patrol

Quick Notes

COVID-19 Pandemic Continues: Find accurate and timely information and resources for Atlantans impacted by COVID-19 at #ATLSTRONG.

Scooters are Back: Bird and Spin both relaunched scooters across the city during July. Read more in these articles from the AJC, and What Now Atlanta

Short-term rentals: The MLPA continues to receive complaints about short-term rentals in the neighborhood. These complaints involve party noise late at night and in the early morning, parking violations, rowdy behaviors, excessive trash on nearby sidewalks and lawns, gun shots, etc.  We are told that renters are selling tickets to parties in some of these houses, and that this is a common occurrence across the city. Police can address noise and illegal parking complaints. This has been an issue to a lesser extent in VaHi over the past couple of years. If you experience problems with such short term tenants, please do not confront them yourself but rather call police to deal with the situation. Also be sure to notify your neighbor who owns the property as they may not be aware of what is happening in their absence. 

Crime Statistics

Note that APD is no longer breaking out the type of burglary, larceny or robbery (i.e. commercial, residential or pedestrian) so this information can not be reported. 

July 2020 Beat
   601   602   613   614
Aggravated Assault -- -- -- --
Auto Theft 2 5 5 4
Burglary Non-Residential   1 -- 2 --
Burglary Residential
Larceny From Vehicle 11 23 14 12
Larceny Non-Vehicle
Homicide -- -- -- --
Rape -- -- -- --
Robbery Commercial 1 3 1 --
Robbery Pedestrian
Robbery Residential
Beat 601 = all of Virginia-Highland

Beat 602 = Poncey-Highland and Inman Park

Beat 613 = Morningside and parts of Piedmont Heights and Lindridge Martin Manor

Beat 614 = Part of Midtown East including the Garden District
July 2020    
  Beat 601 Zone 6
Aggravated Assault -- 27
Auto Theft 2 53
Burglary Non-Residential 1 31
Burglary Residential
Larceny From Vehicle 11 164
Larceny Non-Vehicle
Homicide -- 1
Rape -- --
Robbery Commercial 1 9
Robbery Pedestrian
Robbery Residential
   



Data is no longer available to differentiate car break-ins from other larcenies, so locations of vehicle entry can not be reported. 
If you are a resident and not connected with your street captain, please send a message to safety@vahi.org to be introduced.

If you are not a resident but would like to be added to the distribution for these reports, please send a message to me at VaHiSafety@gmail.com with your name, email address, and affiliation. Thanks.
 
Stay Safe!
 
Kay Stephenson
Copyright © 2020 Virginia-Highland Safety Team, All rights reserved.


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