An Atlanta mayoral candidate who voted to cut millions of dollars from the city’s police department’s budget reportedly had his car stolen in broad daylight by a group of kids.
City Council Member Antonio Brown had just arrived at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and jumped out of his white Mercedes coupe, which features a keyless ignition, and was chatting with community leader Ben Norman.
“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.
“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 happened along Verbena Street in northwest Atlanta about 11:45 a.m., police said. “At this time, officers are gathering information on exactly how this happened and working to identify anyone involved in the incident and locate the stolen vehicle,” police said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Brown was among council members who voted to withhold $73 million of the Atlanta Police Department’s budget, although the ordinance was voted down.
The mayoral candidate said he doesn’t plan on filing charges against the alleged thieves, 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 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.”
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