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VaHi Safety Team Report - Late March, 2021

April 6, 2021

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Update 

As a service from the New York Times, you can now build your own dashboard to track the coronavirus in places across the United States. You can view vaccination rates as well as cases, deaths, hospitalizations at the county level. You can also look at United States and State of Georgia data, and have this delivered via email in an easy to read daily snapshot.

Here is the vaccination report I received this morning. The states shown reflect where I have family, but you can customize it to suit your interests

Vaccination rates by state

Georgia

FULLY VACCINATED

15%

   

AT LEAST ONE DOSE

29%

   
 

U.S. Total

FULLY VACCINATED

22%

   

AT LEAST ONE DOSE

36%

   
 

New York

FULLY VACCINATED

25%

   

AT LEAST ONE DOSE

39%

   
 

Florida

FULLY VACCINATED

21%

   

AT LEAST ONE DOSE

34%

   
 

Illinois

FULLY VACCINATED

22%

   

AT LEAST ONE DOSE

38%

   
 

See National Vaccination Map

See Global Vaccination Map

 
The CDC is still recommending that we avoid medium and large sized crowds, practice social distancing and wear masks to protect ourselves and others. 

Current Statement from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Fully Vaccinated People

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
Read the full guidance here.

Resources for more information and assistance:
State of Georgia Department of Public Health
Fulton County Board of Health COVID-19 Information Hub
Atlanta Strong - COVID-19 Dashboard

The City of Atlanta has activated a text message service for COVID-19 updates. Sign up by texting “ATLCOVID19” to 88877. We are current in Phase 2 (yellow) of our reopening plan. A face mask mandate is in place when in public places.

Significant Incidents

Aggravated Assault 1000-Block Greenwood Ave (Arrest Made)
On Sunday, March 7, police were dispatched following a report of an altercation involving a firearm.  According to the initial report, a white male, wearing a plaid shirt, threw a brick through the window of a silver Ford Mustang; the owner of the Mustang was armed with a firearm.
Upon arrival, the officer observed a white male, later identified as Arrestee 1, handcuffed and sitting on the sidewalk.  An officer from Atlanta Metropolitan State College Police Department was standing with a Mini Draco AK Pistol in his hands.  A black male, late identified as Arrestee 2, was standing near the silver Ford Mustang.  
Arrestee 1 stated that he came out to the parking lot of 810 N. Highland and saw parking boots on his vehicle.  Arrestee 1 stated that Arrestee 2 was alleging to be the “boot man” and would take the parking boots off the vehicle for $75.00.  The two parties then argued over the price and Arrestee 2 walked away toward Greenwood Ave. Arrestee 1 stated he became upset and threw a brick at the Mustang’s windshield out of frustration. Arrestee 1 went on to state that Arrestee 2 went into his vehicle, pulled out a “big gun” and pointed it at Arrestee 1, threatening to kill him.

Police spoke separately to Arrestee 2 who stated that he parked his vehicle and was approached by Arrestee 1, who was agitated, and yelling for Arrestee 2 to take the parking boot off the vehicle. Arrestee 2 stated that he told Arrestee 1 several times that he was not the “boot man.” Arrestee 2 said Arrestee 1 continued to yell at him about the parking boot, so he walked away toward Greenwood Ave.  He later walked back to his vehicle and watched as Arrestee 1 threw a brick at the Mustang.  Arrestee 2 stated that he went to his car and pulled out his weapon because Arrestee 1 yelled that he would kill Arrestee 2.
 
Police also interviewed a homeless male who witnessed the incident, but this individual made conflicting statements when speaking to two different officers, so his account was inconclusive.

Due to Fulton County Jail not accepting misdemeanor charges, Arrestee 1 was released on a copy of charges for criminal trespass.
Arrestee 2 was charged with aggravated assault and housed at Fulton County Jail. The firearm was seized and placed into evidence.

Commercial Burglary - 752 N. Highland Ave (Arrest Made)
On March 13 at approximately 7:57 AM, police were dispatched to Neighbors Bar concerning a burglary to the business.  The victim stated that her security system alerted her of movement inside the business around 7:30 AM.  The victim and her husband arrived at the bar around 7:45 AM and discovered that the last set of glass doors on the right of the north-facing building closest to N. Highland Ave was unlocked.  The victim stated that she believed an employee may have forgotten to lock the doors.  The victim advised that she viewed the security footage when she received the alarm and observed a black mail with a black skull cap, long dark overcoat, gloves, and black backpack come into the business and take bottles of alcohol from behind the bar.  The victim also stated that she rewound the footage to see which of her employees left the door open and witnessed a male suspect walking with a limp in and out of the business throughout the evening and early morning.  Each time he returned he entered through the same door and took bottles of liquor in various bags.  He also changed clothes at least once overnight as he repeatedly entered the business.

The victim stated that the suspect took $500 hundred dollars’ worth of alcohol, as well as a rolling black suitcase stolen from the business and used to transport the stolen bottles.  Additionally, the suspect stole a black backpack with musical equipment valued at approximately $1200.

Police reviewed the security footage and recognized the suspect a local homeless man, Jonathan Huff aka “Bam” or “Bama,” judging from his appearance and distinct walk or limp.  The suspect is a repeat offender who has previously been charged with criminal trespass.  Police canvassed the area and located Mr. Huff walking in the courtyard of the condos behind Neighbors Bar.  Mr. Huff dropped a shopping bag and long black overcoat when he spotted police.  Police spoke with Mr. Huff and transported him back to the bar, where he was positively identified by the business owners and comparison to the video footage.  The black backpack was recovered with contents intact and identified by the victim.  Mr. Huff was placed under arrest for the charge of burglary to a business and transported to Fulton County Jail.

Residential Burglary – 1000-Block Saint Louis Place
The victim in this case advised someone came through her rear kitchen window, took her brown Michael Kors purse and computer that was on the kitchen counter and left out the back door. There are no cameras in the house and no alarms. Victim didn't want any prints lifted because of the mess it will make on her windows.  A credit card from the stolen purse was used to make two purchases at the gas station at 1161 Ponce De Leon Ave and at the Kroger at 725 Ponce De Leon Ave.

Residential Burglary – 700-Block Greenwood Ave
On March 11, police responded to a residential burglary call in the 700-Block of Greenwood Ave.  The victim stated she had been moving her belongings out of the location as she was moving to Savannah, Georgia.  The victim advised she left the location around 5:00 PM and when she returned around 6:30 PM, she noticed that her front door was kicked in and the door was completely off the hinges.  The victim stated that her PS4 game system and her Glock 19 9mm pistol was stolen, however she did not have the serial number or receipt for either item, so the pistol could not be put into the system as stolen.

Theft from Automobile – 1000-Block Saint Charles Ave (Arrest Made)
 On March 22, a patrol officer recognized an individual who had been caught on camera entering a motor vehicle the night prior.  Police stopped the suspect, Alfonza Phillips.  After running check on his name, police discovered that Mr. Phillips was also wanted for burglary.  Police informed Mr. Phillips that they needed to speak with him about a saxophone stolen from a BMW X3 on Saint Charles Ave.  Mr. Phillips stated that he did not have the saxophone but knew who did.  Mr. Phillips was transported to the Zone 6 precinct, where he was read his Miranda rights.  Mr. Phillips declined legal counsel and spoke with an investigator.

Investigators showed Mr. Philips the video footage of what they believed to be him entering the vehicle around 3:00 AM on March 21.  Mr. Phillips denied that he was pictured in the video and said that the suspect in the video was a guy named “Bama,” who was later identified as Jonathan Huff.  According to Mr. Phillips, Mr. Huff had stolen the saxophone, but then Mr. Phillips had helped him sell it to “a guy named Paul for twenty bucks.”  Mr. Phillips advised police of the location where Mr. Huff lived.  Police went to that location and asked to speak with Mr. Huff, eventually placing him under arrest and transporting him to Zone 6.  Mr. Huff too declined to have an attorney present and spoke with an investigator.  Mr. Huff was shown the same footage of the suspect entering the vehicle, and he said that the video showed Mr. Phillips, whom he called “Cutty.”  Mr. Huff stated that Mr. Phillips sold the stolen saxophone to a guy named “Tarzan Tucker” earlier that day, and he further provided police with the location where Mr. Tucker lived.  Mr. Huff was released from custody and police drove to question Mr. Tucker.

When police arrived at Mr. Tucker’s residence, he invited them inside and agreed to speak with the officers without an attorney.  Mr. Tucker confirmed that Mr. Phillips was the person who sold him the saxophone for $40 and did not include Mr. Huff in the story of the transaction.  Mr. Tucker returned the saxophone to police and was given a copy of charges for possession of stolen property.  Officers returned to the Zone 6 precinct and charged Mr. Phillips with Entering Auto.  He was transported to the Fulton County Jail, and officers then returned the saxophone to the victim.

Pets Off Leash and Aggressive Behavior

There have been a few incidents lately of both pets and people being injured by stranger dogs while out walking in the neighborhood. Please consider:

  1. It is illegal to have a dog off leash anywhere other than on your own property. This is both for the safety of your dog and for others. It doesn't matter if you believe you dog is friendly, or you have good voice control. You must keep your dog on a leash in the neighborhood. 
  2. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs. Attention, even from a friendly dog, might still be unwelcome and even frightening. 
  3. Just because your dog is normally friendly, doesn't mean it can't act out of character if startled or frightened. Dogs have the same flight or fight instincts that humans have. A leash, which is necessary to keep both your pet and others safe, prevents the dog from fleeing when scared, so they may determine that fight is their only option.
  4. If you dog acts like it doesn't want to meet the dog approaching you on the street, trust your dog's instincts. Regardless of what the other dog's owner says about wanting to meet, play or be friendly, switch to the other side of the street or step far enough back up someone's driveway so that your dog and you are protected.
  5. Be very careful when trying to break up a fight between dogs. Here is an article I wrote on this subject several years ago. Dog Fighting - A Primer Part 1
  6. Your dog might be very friendly, but the other dog might not be. Always ask before allowing dogs to meet and If the other owner says it's not a good idea, don't insist. 
  7. If an incident does occur, try to get contact information for the other owner. At a minimum, you want to know for sure that the other dog has been vaccinated.
  8. Finally, If your dog has ever injured anyone (canine or human), it is a good idea to use a muzzle when out walking. Again, this is for the protection of your dog and for others.
Read Why We Should All Get Leashed on Victoria Stillwell's website along with lots of other information from experts about dog behavior and positive training.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified dog trainer, veterinary or any other recognized expert. I'm just a person who has read extensively on canine behavior and training, trained my own dogs over many years, and spent a lot of time in dog parks and walking with my dogs in the neighborhood. 

Crime Statistics

Please note that of the nine vehicles entered on North Highland Avenue, three were in the Highland Hardware parking lot and two were in the parking lot at Amsterdam. All incidents occurred on different days, so this wasn't a case of someone hitting several vehicles at one time. Please lock your doors and make sure that nothing is visible in your vehicle. Also, please share this advice with your friends and business patrons who may be visiting of outside the neighborhood. 
March 15 - 31, 2021 Beat
  601 602 613 614
Aggravated Assault -- 1 1 --
Auto Theft -- 1 1 --
Burglary Non-Residential 1 1 1 --
Burglary Residential
Larceny From Vehicle 16 18 4 1
Larceny Non-Vehicle -- 3 -- 3
Homicide -- -- -- --
Rape -- -- -- --
Robbery Commercial -- 1 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
March 15 - 31, 2021    
  Beat 601 Zone 6
Aggravated Assault -- 14
Auto Theft -- 12
Burglary Non-Residential -- 9
Burglary Residential
Larceny From Vehicle -- 82
Larceny Non-Vehicle -- 29
Homicide -- --
Rape -- --
Robbery Commercial -- 3
Robbery Pedestrian
Robbery Residential
   

Vehicles were entered on Adair, Amsterdam, Greenwood, North Highland (9), Orme1, Ponce de Leon Avenue, and St. Charles. 
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 © 2021 Virginia-Highland Safety Team, All rights reserved.


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