ATLANTA – Atlanta Police have stepped up patrols on the Atlanta BeltLine after two kids threw rocks and pulled a gun on some visitors to the Westside of the BeltLine.
For Dave Koher, the Westside extension has been a welcome addition ever since it opened a few months ago. He’s keeping a close eye out right now after police said a 14-year-old and 10-year-old assaulted a couple of visitors.
“Nobody’s gonna use it if people are gonna get accosted and attacked,” said Koher.
Police said last Sunday the two juveniles hurled large rocks at a couple of men on the BeltLine. Investigators said the 14-year-old waved what appeared to be a pistol but turned out to be a B-B gun.
APD tracked them down by canvassing the area and showing pictures from surveillance cameras to local residents.
The 14-year-old boy was charged with felony aggravated assault but no charges were filed against the 10-year-old because of his age and lack of substantial evidence.
“The 10-year-old being very young, he was more the rock thrower. And it’s very serious these people felt threatened for their lives and things escalated and it was wrong,” said Lt. Jeff Baxter, the Commander of APD’s Pathforce Unit, which patrols the BeltLine.
Vonda Henry, who was walking with her two nephews, believes the 10-year-old should face some consequence like community service
“I wouldn’t say charged but definitely some kind of discipline,” said Henry.
The incident involving the two juveniles spurred APD to increase patrols with additional officers, members of the Pathforce Unit, assigned to the BeltLine on bikes and in cars.
APD says even if you don’t see them, they likely will be able to see any wrongdoing, considering the many cameras on the BeltLine, like the ones that help nab the two young troublemakers.
Lt. Baxter tells FOX 5 News officers would rather help young people stay out of trouble with plenty of local programs like a summer camp offered through PAL, the Police Athletic League.
“We’ll even come and pick you up and bring you to camp so now that’s schools out these kids need to be in some kind of structured activity,” said Lt. Baxter.
He said the 14-year-old who faces a felony charge of aggravated assault was taken to juvenile detention but his current status was not released.