The Atlanta Police Department announced it has arrested a 15-year-old male accused of robbing at gunpoint two younger boys selling bottled water at a Buckhead intersection.
According to a news release, on July 12 at about 5 p.m. officers responded to a 911 call about an armed robbery at 3434 Peachtree Road, at the intersection of Peachtree, Lenox Road and Phipps Drive.
“The preliminary investigation indicated an 11-year-old male and a 12-year-old male were at (that) intersection, selling water, when they were approached by another juvenile who displayed a handgun and demanded their money,” the release stated. “After the robbery, the juvenile suspect fled the location. Investigators began gathering information on what occurred and working to determine the identity of the suspect.
“Officers assigned to the area were provided with a description of the suspect and on (July 15), an alert officer observed a juvenile matching that description and stopped and identified him.”
Once investigators confirmed he was their suspect, warrants were secured. Aug. 4, investigators with the police’s fugitive unit arrested him and transported him to the Metro Youth Detention Center. The suspect was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. His name and the victims’ names are not being released because they are juveniles.
The two younger boys and possibly the suspect are part of a group of juvenile males selling water at intersections across the city without a permit over the past few years. Nicknamed the water boys and bottle boys, the group’s members have become increasingly violent.
In June and July, two boys were arrested for assaulting or threatening drivers and/or passengers in Buckhead, and a third teen is wanted in a shooting incident in the city’s southwest area. In videos posted to social media, some of the bottle boys have been shown throwing water bottles at cars.
In late July a woman posted a message on Facebook saying when her car was at the Peachtree-Piedmont Road intersection in Buckhead, some boys asked if she wanted to buy water bottles. When she said no and showed them she already had some, about a dozen boys ages 14 to 21 banged on her windows, cursed at her, demanded she give them her money and even stood in front of her car before she was able to drive off.
Though some have accused the police of not doing enough to crack down on the bottle boys, with this robbery case and others, the department stated it’s doing what it can to solve the problem.
“We are pleased with the work our officers and investigators put into this case, and we will continue working to address all issues related to those attempting to sell water at intersections in our city,” the release stated.
Since the media started reporting on the bottle boys’ bad behavior, some individuals, businesses and organizations have offered to help with jobs or in other ways.