An Atlanta city councilman who is vying to be Atlanta’s next mayor had his car stolen by children in broad daylight according to reports. Ironically enough, that same city councilman voted to slash Atlanta’s police budget by millions of dollars last year.
“Brown told police that he noticed four children no more than 11 or 12 years old, the youngest possibly 6 or 7 walking around a nearby store. Within seconds they were in his car,” WAGA-TV reported.
“You don’t immediately think, ‘Oh, these kids are going to steal my car,’” Brown, who drives a keyless ignition Mercedes coupe, said according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Brown said the thieves jumped in his vehicle Wednesday after he got out at a ribbon cutting ceremony to speak with community leader Ben Norman.
“One kid was in the driver’s seat,” Brown told the station. “Ben attempted to open the door to get him out of the car. He fought with Ben. I then engaged and tried to get him out of the car. The three other kids were trying to figure out how to get in the car or stay out of the car. He started to hit on the gas. Ben let go.”
But Brown said he held on and got dragged a short distance before he let go. “As he started to speed up, and I knew that if I had not let go, I knew I probably could have killed myself because he was going so fast, I would have started to tumble. And I would have hurt him,” he said.
Norman also told the station what happened. “We tried to go there and maybe try to get the kid out of the car. So, I’m like, what do you do to a kid, right?” said Norman. “He had already starting figuring out… I mean they had plans, they knew what they were going to do. He hit the gas and he pulled out, peeled out, and took off.”
The incident occurred amid a recent surge in crime in the city. Brown, who joined the city’s mayoral race less than three weeks ago, is running on a campaign of “reimagining public safety.”
Last year, he voted in support of an ordinance to withhold $73 million from the budget of the Atlanta Police Department. The ordinance was narrowly voted down.
Brown doesn’t plan on filing charges against the kids, who he says acted out of desperation, Atlanta’s WSB-TV reported.
“This is a generational poverty issue. These kids, it’s 12:30 in the afternoon. Why aren’t they in school? Why aren’t we enforcing systems to ensure that if they are not in school, they’re in recreational centers?” he said.
Brown himself is no saint. He was indicted last July on federal fraud charges over alleged incidents before he took his council seat in 2019.
He was indicted on multiple fraud charges “in connection with Brown’s attempts to defraud several financial institutions by taking out loans and making credit card purchases – and then falsely claiming that he was the victim of identity theft and was not responsible for the charges or repaying the loans,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Georgia.
“For years, Antonio Brown allegedly sought to defraud a number of banks and credit card companies by falsely claiming that he was the victim of identity theft,” said U.S. Attorney Byung Pak. “Brown’s scheme was eventually brought to light, resulting in his indictment by the grand jury.”
Author: Will Longstead