City leaders concerned over youth selling water on Atlanta streets

Atlanta city leaders are trying to find another way for youngsters who dart into intersections with water to make a little money.

They are commonly called the “bottle boys.” This is not the first summer for the activity but the number of youths taking part is higher than in the past.

What else has drawn the spotlight are violent incidents.

"There is a bad apple," said Councilwoman Marci Collier Overstreet. "But it is not what the majority of the bottle boys are trying to do."

Overstreet says a task force studying the activity needs to move quickly. One teen was killed in Midtown in what may have been a battle over turf -- a conflict over which group of boys would try to sell in certain neighborhoods.

On Thursday, in a separate incident in the West End, a youth got into a dispute with a motorist. Police say the boy had a weapon and shot into the car, striking the motorist in the hand.

Also, on Thursday, Buckhead police officers spotted a teen who had a bulge around his waist. Turns out the 14-year-old had a weapon concealed.

An APD spokesperson acknowledged "issues" surrounding the water selling and have made a couple of arrests.

Overstreet says the task force should be able to come up with recommendations by august aimed at safely encouraging the "entrepreneurial spirit" exhibited by the boys.