May 9, 2016

VaHi Safety Team Report Weeks 16 and 17 (4/10/16 – 4/23/16)

News and Notes

Recent CourtWatch Cases

Curtis Bethea (Midtown Face Puncher) – Bond Hearing

On Tuesday April 26th several Virginia-Highland and Midtown CourtWatchers showed up in Judge Doris Downs courtroom to provide community impact statements regarding Mr. Bethea’s request for bail. Upon seeing members of the community along with reporters from WSB and CBS46 News channels, the defense attorney elected not request bond. This is a great win for the community as this individual is extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

Note that Judge Downs also presided over the Greg Germani road rage case in which Mr. Germani was run over while riding his bicycle and severely injured. The defendant in that case, Joseph Alan Lewis, was sentenced to 15 years. Also, while waiting for Mr. Bethea’s case to begin we heard her lecture to a defendant in a plea hearing for another road rage incident. Based on those two cases, this is a no-nonsense judge who is willing to impose tough sentences where warranted.

Anthony Davis – Final Plea Hearing

On Tuesday and Wednesday May 3rd and 4th two Virginia-Highland CourtWatchers attended Judge Alford Dempsey’s courtroom to provide input regarding Mr. Davis’ plea hearing. The state offered Mr. David nine years to serve four (the balance on probation). Mr. Davis is a repeat offender with multiple burglary convictions. CourtWatchers were in attendance last summer on a case where he received ten years of probation supervision. Almost immediately he re-offend and was caught for the attempted burglary of Home Grown restaurant on Memorial. 

The defense in this case used a variety of delaying tactics to prevent a decision on Tuesday, so we all returned on Wednesday. At that time the defense brought up more delaying maneuvers that so angered Judge Dempsey he felt, in fairness to the defendant, he had to recuse himself from the case. The case has now been re-assigned to Judge Jerry Baxter and will most likely move forward to trail.

Candidate Forum for Fulton County Superior Court Judges

The Inman Park Neighborhood Association (IPNA) is hosting a candidate forum for the Fulton County Superior Court judges on Tuesday May 17th from 7 – 9 pm. The event will be held at the Trolley Barn on Edgewood Avenue and is open to any voter in Fulton County. More information can be found here.

Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful Pre-Summerfest Clean-up – May 21st

Save the date! Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful will be leading a neighborhood clean-up on Saturday morning May 21st. Help clean up the neighborhood before VHCA’s largest fund-raiser of the year. Pick up liter, take down stickers and flyers, pull weeds, and generally spruce up our common areas. Bring work gloves, scrapers, rakes, shovels and gas powered leaf blowers and weed whackers. We will provide bags for trash, recycling and yard waste. Meet between 8 – 8:30 at American Road House patio. Can’t make it that morning? Then take some time to tidy up your own street, or take a grocery bag with you when you walk the dog or the kids to school picking up litter along the way.

Learn about Atlanta’s Tree Ordinance

Are you passionate about saving Atlanta's trees and want to know more about what you can do? Or have you wondered about some of these questions: What is our tree ordinance? What can (or can’t) city arborists do? What’s the definition of a dead, dying, and hazardous (DDH) tree? Which rules apply to removing trees on construction sites? How does the Tree Commission and the appeals process work? What do the orange and yellow public notice signs mean? Check out Trees Atlanta’s Programs Calendar  to register for Protecting Atlanta’s Trees: Understanding the City of Atlanta Tree Ordinance coming up on May 17th.

Atlanta Police Path Force and Atlanta Fire Rescue Mobile Medics Partner to Patrol the Atlanta BeltLine

Atlanta Police Department’s Path Force Unit and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s Mobile Medics have joined forces to keep the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside trail safe and secure. The Mobile Medics provide emergency medical service to citizens on the BeltLine, utilizing bicycles and equipped with emergency medical supplies and an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). These tools allow them to quickly respond to medical emergencies along the trail where an ambulance or fire engine many not have access. The most common medical emergencies include; injuries from falls, heat-related illnesses, and difficulty breathing. The AFRD Mobile Medics are currently patrolling the Eastside trail on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

City Council District Six Newsletter

Every month our council representative, Alex Wan publishes a newsletter for all residents and businesses in the district. Follow the link to this month’s newsletter visit the District 6 website to sign up to receive the newsletter via email and for other information about what is happening in the district

Upcoming Zoning Ordinance Meetings

Mary Norwood, (Post 2 At Large) is Chair of the Zoning Committee for Atlanta City Council. As such she is taking a lead role in the Zoning Ordinance Re-Write process currently underway for the city. She has notified us of the next two public information meetings which will update us on the Zoning Ordinance Re-Write Assessment Process.  These public meetings are an opportunity for you to hear the consultant team’s findings and the strategic recommendations for changes that they think should be included in the Re-Write of the Zoning Ordinance.  Please attend to give your input and learn about the work that these consultants have done. The meetings will be held Wednesday May 18th and Thursday May 26th. Details can be found at the link.

Other Upcoming Meetings

VHCA meeting – Monday 5/9/16 at 7 pm at Ponce de Leon Branch, Fulton County Library
NPU F Meeting – Monday 5/16/16 at 7 pm Hillside

Crime Statistics

The following information is taken from our APD Zone 6 report (
It includes information from the Virginia-Highland Beat 601 reported incidents along with relevant reports from other nearby beats. Keep in mind that not all incidents are reported. A map showing the location of beats 601 – 612 within Zone 6 can be found at this link This information is not shared to scare anyone, but to let you know what happens around us every day so you can be alert and aware.

Homicide None reported in Beat 601 and none in Zone 6.

Rape None reported in Beat 601 and none in Zone 6.

Pedestrian/Carjacking Robbery One reported in Beat 601 and six reported in Zone 6.

On April 22nd in the overnight hours a couple were confronted as they attempted to enter their apartment on N. Highland Ave. Three males with handguns instructed them to get on the ground. The suspects took the female victim’s bag with ID, cash and phone. They also took a guitar with other musical gear from the male victim. There were no physical injuries. FBAC was on duty and responded to this 911 call.

Follow-up note: the guitar and gear were located at a music store in Marietta and the two individuals who brought it into the store were arrested and charged with possession of stolen merchandise. They were arraigned and released on bond. APD investigators are working this angle to connect the dots to the three robbery suspects.

Residential Robbery None reported in Beat 601 and none in Zone 6.

Commercial Robbery None reported in Beat 601 and four reported in Zone 6.

Aggravated Assault None reported in Beat 601 and four reported in Zone 6.

Residential Burglary None reported in Beat 601 and four reported in Zone 6.

Non-Residential Burglary One reported in Beat 601 and four reported in Zone 6.

Attempt Only - On April 18th the window of a business at Amsterdam Walk was broken. A flat screen TV was disturbed but apparently the thieves were unable to disconnect it, so nothing was taken.

Larceny from Vehicle Seven reported in Beat 601 and twenty-six reported in Zone 6.

Vehicles were entered on Greenwood (2), Kanuga (2), Maiden Lane, and St. Charles (2). Vehicles were entered via broken windows. In addition, three of the vehicles (one on Greenwood and both on St. Charles) had wheels and tires removed. One of these vehicles was a Jeep and the other two were Hondas. Of the non-wheel thefts thieves made off with laptops, schoolbooks and papers, book bags and a backpack.

Other Larcenies One reported in Beat 601 and thirty-three reported in Zone 6.

On April 21st a man walked into an office on N. Highland Ave asking if it was the yoga studio. After walking around in the front office he left quickly and witnesses realized he had stolen a wallet.

On April 15th a bike was stolen from the garage at Ponce City Market. Apparently the owner waited until they arrived home to report the theft, so it is recorded at Greenwood Avenue, even though the theft actually took place in O4W Beat 603.

Auto Theft One reported in Beat 601 and thirteen reported in Zone 6.

On April 23rd a 2004 Honda was stolen from Briarcliff Court. Apparently the owner leaves the vehicle unlocked and the keys in the console so that he and his cousin can both use the vehicle.

If this report was forwarded to you and you would like to be added to the distribution, please send a message to me at with your name, email address, and affiliation. Thanks.

Stay Safe!

Kay Stephenson

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