ATLANTA - An Atlanta City Council member who wants to be the city’s next mayor was the latest target of car thieves.
Antonio Brown said he was on Verbena Street in the Dixie Hills community in northwest Atlanta, which he represents on the city council. He turned off his car, which has a keyless start, got out of the car, and had stopped to talk to community leader Ben Norman and was just a few feet away from his white Mercedes coupe.
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.
"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 Ben 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."
"One kid was in the driver’s seat. 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," said Brown.
Brown said he tried to stop them, but got dragged a short distance and eventually let go after about a half block.
"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," Brown said.
Brown said what happened to him is a perfect example of what is happening to our youth and why we as a society need to step up and help.
"The reality is this: We need programmatic initiatives in place to help support these kids to be able to give them another pathway instead of them of them committing crimes," Brown said.
Brown did file a report with the Atlanta Police Department. Officers said they found Brown’s car a few hours later but did not say if they made any arrests. Brown said he does not want to press charges.
This happened nearly two weeks after Brown said he would be running to take over for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms who said she would not be seeking a second term. Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore and fellow Council Member Andre Dickens, as well as attorney Sharon A. Gay, have also announced a run for the city's top spot. There has also been rumblings former Mayor Kasim Reed will also throw his hat into the ring again.
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