East Atlanta shaken by break-in, discovery of body

Discussion in 'In the News' started by moga, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. moga

    moga New Member

    5,194
    0
    0
    I hope that this guy doesn't find himself at the wrong end of a criminal investigation. Being Atlanta and all.



    http://www.ajc.com/services/content/met ... 7&cxcat=13

    By SAEED AHMED, JUANITA COUSINS
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 08/06/07

    When Susan McKay moved into her East Atlanta neighborhood about two years ago, she accepted that gentrification often came with a price: break-ins, vandalism, car thefts.

    But two disturbing incidents within a three-day span last week — and the bizarre manner in which they are tied — has left her and others in the neighborhood off Moreland Avenue quite unsettled.

    On Thursday, a homeowner on Emerson Avenue scared off two would-be burglars by firing his gun as they tried to break into his house in the middle of the day.

    Two days later, a woman trying to retrieve her dogs from her backyard found the decomposing body of a teenager sprawled on a mulch pile.

    Atlanta police now think that three, not two, men may have tried to rob the Emerson Avenue home Thursday. And while they arrested two of the suspects shortly after the attempted break-in — and found them to be unhurt — the third apparently jumped over the fence, crossed into a neighbor's yard and died of a bullet to the chest.

    Police said Sunday that investigators cannot definitively say whether the dead man, 18-year-old James T. Motley Jr., took part in the attempted burglary.

    But one of the suspects called Motley's family from the Fulton County Jail sometime Saturday to tell them to check on the teen's whereabouts.

    "He stated to family members that [Motley] was with them when they tried to gain entry to the home," said Officer James Polite.

    A group of about 20 people — including Motley's mother and his girlfriend carrying his infant — descended on the neighborhood and canvassed the area Saturday evening.

    About the same time, Debbie Matani went to get her dogs from the backyard of her home on Delaware Avenue, which is on the next street to the Emerson Avenue home.

    There, in a part where the family rarely goes, Matani found the dead teen, his baggy pants gathered around his ankles.

    A shaken Matani would not talk with reporters Sunday. She and her family were staying with relatives.

    The man who fired the shot from the blue three-bedroom house on Emerson also was not at home Sunday evening, and did not return calls.

    He told police he was at home Thursday, recuperating from surgery when he saw two men peering through his window. When they tried to break in, he got his Glock and shot through the door, scaring them away.

    Police did not find blood at the scene and noted no injuries on the two men they arrested a short time later. Officials could not provide their names or the charges against them Sunday evening.

    Susan McKay, the resident who moved in a couple of years ago, said there have been several daytime break-ins in recent weeks but nothing as serious as the incidents last week.

    "It's really frightened a lot of people around here," said the real estate agent who lives across the street from Matani.

    Sunday evening, residents walked their dogs or worked in their yards, stopping each other and catching them up on the police activities that pierced the quiet of their neighborhood last week.

    They shook their heads and commiserated with each other. And then they moved on, each one resigned to one unsurprising tenet, said resident Brownlee Currey: "You expect this kind of thing when there's gentrification."
     
  2. moga

    moga New Member

    5,194
    0
    0
    GA 42 in Atlanta is known as Briarcliff Rd North of Ponce de Leon Ave and Moreland Ave to its south. Crossing Ponce from Briarcliff to Moreland, one sees a sudden, dramatic transformation of community. Among the abandoned homes, overgrown yards, and graffiti sprawled retaining walls in E ATL are elaborately landscaped condos and newly paved access roads symbolic of recent real estate development. Bimmer owners travelling to the local Barnes & Nobles for the latest best seller and a latte reluctantly rub elbows with homeless panderers and crack whore prostitutes that congregate at Memorial Dr.

    There is a sign opposite of a sprawling, shiny new plaza on Moreland & Dekalb in E ATL/Edgewood where last week I had excellent Japanese [restaurant: Ru Sans]. A billboard sign opposite the restaurant boasts affordable new homes [in the area] starting at $289K. What a joke. Literally, the property on which the sign is found is overgrown with rogue plant life. The small house at the rear of the lot should be demolished. It's clearly condemned.

    This is the landscape of so-called E ATL. The obvious contradictions in socio-economic status and lifestyle of its inhabitants make it one of the strangest, unpleasant places I've ever been. Even in the funky but friendly L5P, I am in constant condition orange.

    After a few trips through E ATL as a result of being new to the area, I have learned not to venture south of Dekalb Ave regardless of the time of day. The news story only confirms the observations I collected during my brief foray through the area.

    I feel badly for the people that volunteered to be the first settlers into this unchartered area. They must feel as the frontier families did centuries ago. The terrain is certainly as hostile and unforgiving IMO.
     

  3. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    Great post, I know what you are talking about +1.

    And +1 on Ru Sans' too, I ate there a few weeks ago and it was great.
     
  4. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    13,592
    0
    0
    We have a Ru Sans in Athens also........great restaurant. My wife and I eat there all the time. The menu is a little intimidating if you aren't already intimately familiar with Sushi but well worth it.
     
  5. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

    8,809
    0
    0
    Shot through the door without positively identifying the target? :?
     
  6. asbrand

    asbrand Active Member

    1,530
    0
    36
    ...funniest part of the entire story... 8)
     
  7. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    Nothing like letting the gang bangers buddies know where to go to get revenge. This kind of irresponsible reporting really ticks me off!
     
  8. moga

    moga New Member

    5,194
    0
    0
    Yeah, I know. What if it had been the mail man instead? Or girls scouts with cookies? Or any of a million other variants of an innocuous visitor mistaken for a BG?

    Given what little is known, my gut feeling is doubtful that the threat meet the threshold required of lethal force. Of course, that could all change as more details of the situation come to light.
     
  9. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    It's not like he didn't identify them as bad guys. The article said, "he saw two men peering through his window. When they tried to break in, he got his Glock and shot through the door". This tells me that he already determined that they were both unkown to him and in the process of breaking into his house. My mail man is dedicated but he has never tried to break in to make sure I got my bills....
     
  10. moga

    moga New Member

    5,194
    0
    0
    Peering through one's window? Hardly an offense to warrant deadly force. Bad judgement, yes, but precious little else. Is that even a crime?

    I am also curious about the extent to which the suspects went to break in. Due to the manner and location in which the deceased was shot, of course.

    Don't mistaken my reservations about the actions of the shooter for sympathy for the home invaders, b/c it genuinely isn't. I only question whether this is a good shoot given what little is known at the time, and worry about the negative impact on RKBA in a town that is already not very comfortable with packing neighbors.
     
  11. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

    8,809
    0
    0
    Ah, found it...the first part of the sentence....


    :oops:
     
  12. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    Pering through the window no. But, what everyone seems to be missing is that the next thing said is, "When they tried to break in". This says to me that they were in the process of forced entry into his house. This does warrant deadly force in my book.
     
  13. moga

    moga New Member

    5,194
    0
    0
    Again, I stress that based on what has been so far reported, it just sounds to me like the guy may have recklessly opened fire after he saw someone looking in his window and possibly shake his door knob.

    Otherwise it wouldn't have been necessary to shoot "through the door."

    Now if the BGs kicked in his door, and the AJC failed to report that detail, then my opinion would be completely different. Or if the CSI recovered a weapon in the vicinity of the crime that they feel was related to its commission.

    Goodness knows that it wouldn't be the first time MSM failed to accurately portray a self defense shooting.
     
  14. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    Like you said the real key here is what is being reported. Where do you draw the line? Do you have to let them get access, and possibly the upper hand, or can you stop them when you hear the door jam cracking from a pry bar or the lock being picked? Can you tell the difference between a lock being picked and just being jiggled just by sound? I don't think I could. The perps have already admitted "that [Motley] was with them when they tried to gain entry to the home,". That leads me to believe that the home owner acted on them trying to force entry, not peering through the window or trying the knob.
     
  15. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

    2,417
    1
    38
    While I agree with you about the poor work of the reporters, it likely wouldn't matter in this case since the other two theives are still stealing our air. They can pass on the exact location to any of their buddies at most any time...

    As for shooting through the door. I probably wouldn't have. I'd have called 911 while I was waiting paitently for them to get my door open. Then I'd have seen how fast I could empty 6 rounds out of my 12 ga into their general vacinity. Bet I could have got more than one.

    My main take on this whole thing is I bet the next group of punks will at least think twice about busting in a house in this neighborhood.
     
  16. rajl

    rajl New Member

    391
    0
    0
    Yeah, I know that area well. Moreland is also US 23 and is one of the "secret" ways out of the city going south if the interstates are clogged up (think Thanksgiving weekend traffic).

    I went to pick up a date one time down there, just a block or two away from the intersection of Memorial and Moreland. She was part of the people doing the gentrifying. Anyway, her house sat at the top of a hill, and I overshot, went over the top of the hill. BIG MISTAKE. It went from a street lined by old run-down houses in the process of being renovated to gangbanger central. I literally interuppted a gang-meeting (20+ of the local thugs smoking joints on the sidewalk, looking at whitey and wondering "WTF?"), and I swear to God that I made the quickest three point turnabout in recorded history to get back over to the other side of the hill.

    She was hot and I liked her, but I was a bit relieved that things didn't work out. I wasn't too thrilled at the prospect of entering that neighborhood on a more frequent basis.
     
  17. moga

    moga New Member

    5,194
    0
    0
    LMAO! That's the same that happened to me. I was like WTF just happened?

    Where do I personally draw the line? When the people that may or may not intend to do me harm are still outdoors, and me and my family are not. I call 911 if I think there's a problem and hunker down until the cavalry arrives unless there's an immediate threat to life or loss of limb. So, if the uninvited guests gain unlawful entry into my home, then I do what I have to do. But certainly not until then.

    Besides, my personal rules of engagement call for identifying the target and the backdrop as much as reasonably possible before the decision to fight is made. How can one fight what they can't see? Now if I see a dark, shadowy figure in my hallway at some ungodly hour, that doesn't mean I wait to turn all all the lights and request some identification before calling out the welcoming committee. There's only my wife and my dog, after all, so who else could it be but an ill-intentioned intruder. Yet, firing a firearm through a door at what is perceived to be a deadly threat just doesn't meet the muster IMO.

    It's all shades of grey, not black in white, in my mind.

    Further, given the circumstances, I personally would have commanded the BGs to move away from my door under threat of fire. Again, as long as they're on the outside and I'm on the inside, I would have given the miscreants time to re-think their decision before smoking the smoke wagons.

    As far as the shooters state of mind and questions of the signs that caused him to act, I would be only speculating further than I already have by contributing to this conversation's thread, so I resign to await further details.

    But above all else, I sincerely hope that this guy doesn't find himself the subject of a criminal complaint.
     
  18. moga

    moga New Member

    5,194
    0
    0
    :lol: Now that's funny right there.
     
  19. rajl

    rajl New Member

    391
    0
    0
    Maybe it was the same girl? :wink: