Editor's note: The following information was posted during the second week of the new year by the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance (MPSA) on its website and appears here courtesy of the MPSA. The MPSA has served the Midtown community since 2003 as a non-profit organization by coordinating neighborhood response to public safety and security issues in order to advance the Midtown way of life. The MPSA achieves this objective primarily by operating a neighborhood security patrol funded by its resident and business members, and community sponsors. See here for more information about becoming a member of the MPSA. The MPSA coverage area includes:
- From Juniper Street to the defunct railroad track just east of Monroe Drive and Home Depot
- From Ponce de Leon Avenue to 10th Street.
- Highlighted in green on the map
- All of Kennesaw Avenue, Penn Avenue, Myrtle Street, are in the service area, along with Glen Iris Drive down to but not including North Avenue
Menacing Street Criminal: Nakia Graham
On Friday 1/04 Atlanta Police arrested a menacing individual in the 800 block of Charles Allen for prowling. According to police accounts, he was following the victim as she walked around the neighborhood. The victim stated that when she started to walk faster the suspect would do likewise, and would make the same turns as she sought to get away from him. The victim reported the individual to 911 as she was being stalked, and luckily managed to meet up with a neighbor in the process. Police units responded immediately and quickly located the frightened woman. Upon canvassing the area they spotted the suspect, idenitifed as Nakia Graham, as he turned up a driveway and then hid as if seeking to avoid police interception.
Graham has been hanging around the neighborhood for quite some time, and has been on our radar for several weeks. Earlier in the day some residents ran him off of a property on Monroe Drive where he was camping on the porch of a vacant house. They later dismantled his campsite and hauled off his bedding to a dumpster later in the evening. In the days leading up to the arrest the police had seen him loitering around the neighborhood, but absent of a suspicious person call from a resident in the area there was not much the police could do at that point. In the weeks leading up to Christmas he was reported prowling around the neighborhood. Last month he was found to be squatting another vacant house on 6th Street after a resident flagged down the MPSA Patrol and reported the situation. With the owner’s help that house has since been secured.
Graham also has some criminal history, and has been known to the police for quite some time. In 2007 he struck a victim over the head with a rock or brick, causing a gash to the victim’s eyebrow, with intent to cause serious injury. Afterwards, police had to chase him until they were able to corner him on the Downtown Connector. He was booked on aggravated assault, but was held only six months until one of the judges released him to participate in a support group at a homeless shelter. In other words, this is Fulton County justice as flimsy as it comes. In April of 2008 he was arrested again for aggravated assault, and he was finally sent to prison where he belongs. He was released last March, and and quickly began was causing trouble again in the area. His criminal history also includes a significant number of cases in Dekalb County involving Burglary, Peeping Tom, Indecent Exposure, and Battery.
Nakia Graham was arrested Friday on the misdemeanor charge of prowling, and was released within 24 hours. He’s out there somewhere, and women walking around the neighborhood are especially at risk. Please study his mugshots, and call 911 fif you see him acting suspiciously in any way. He epitomizes the need for us to maintain a neighborhood patrol.
Recent Prison Releases
Three Midtown-related inmates have been released from prison in the last couple of months, but so far have not been seen or reported in Midtown. Please let us know if you see any of these individuals. Those are:
Candice Hughes was convicted in 2009 for an attempted robbery and ensuing brutal assault on another female behind the Ponce de Leon Hotel. She has plagued the Ponce area for many years with criminal activity, including street prostitution, drug activity, and violent conduct toward members of the community. She maxed out in November, but had a tentative parole month earlier in the year. We sent a parole oppostion letter, and later received word that this serious offender would not be paroled. She served until the end. Hopefully she understands that she is not wanted in Midtown.
Tywong McCoy became a serious problem for the neighborhood in 2007, when he would expose himself to women walking around the neighborhood. He would often fondle himself as he watched women doing yard work, walking dogs, etc. In some cases these women had their children with them. He also squatted in sheds in various parts of the neighborhood, and there were signs that he was doing drugs and masturbating to porn magazines. He was later convicted of aggravated stalking after months of court watch efforts and case building on the part of APD and the Fulton DA’S office. Our parole opposition letter helped to avert an early release, but his full sentence expired in December.
Stan Spradlin, who was caught red-handed burglarizing a house in Virginia Highland and later convicted for that incident, had a maximum release date of January 1st of this year. While the incident took place on the other side of the Beltline, this offender spent a significant amount of time in our neighborhood hanging out mostly among the drug culture at Ponce & Boulevard.
We are watching a handful of inmates in the prison system who were convicted of Midtown-related offenses. Once incarcerated, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles sets a tentative parole month which we monitor closely for known Midtown-related inmates. Among them are the following:
1. Antonio Martinez Hunt has a tentative parole date set for March for a full sentence running until July. He was arrested last July when a Zone 5 officer patrolling the beat spotted him trespassing on the front porch of a Myrtle Street home, just shamelessly making himself at home on somebody else’s property. The officer recognized him immediately since he was among the transvestite street criminals plaguing the area with their nightly street prostitution, drug activity and other crime. He was even in drag, “dressed for work” when he was intercepted. He was found to have an active warrant, and upon the resulting arrest the officer found a loaded pistol in his possession. He was therefore charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was later convicted for this and sentenced to five years, of which to serve one year with the rest probated.
He had previously been convicted of a number of criminal offenses going into this incident, and had even been in prison once. His involvement with the transvestite prostitute gang warrants the effort to avert his release, and the fact that he is known to carry a gun as he pursues a life of street crime in our neighborhood compunds his profile even more. Any unnecessary release from prison would negatively affect the overall safety and quality of life in our neighborhood. In light of all this we are pushing for the Parole Board to deny parole to Mr. Hunt, and wish his fellow street prostitutes would take note of his example.
2. Timothy Kozak was convicted in 2008 for several burglaries in the Midtown and Virginia Highland area. He was among the “Three Burglateers” who were arrested in the act in August 2008. Sgt. Cooper was working for us, and was part of the police response. Kozak later admitted to several other burglaries in the area – among them the Camden Midtown Apartments, the Virginia Highland Church and various residential locations in Midtown, Old Fourth Ward and Virginia Highland.
Kozak was sentenced as a recidivist to twenty years, of which he is to serve ten, with the balance of his sentence to be served on probation with conditions including banishment from our area and drug treatment. Going into his 2008 burglary spree, he had a very long criminal history in Georgia and New Jersey, and had served in prison in both states. Kozak has a tentative parole date of January 2014, for a full sentence that runs until 2018. We will decide in the coming months whether to issue a parole opposition statement, but we are thinking that an early release would be a very bad idea. He is currently serving his sentence at Rogers State Prison in Reidsville.
3. Daniel Lee Holt, convicted of a 2011 burglary on Myrtle Street, has a maximum release date of March 2014. The parole board still shows his tentative parole date of “No Decision”, but would likely be set for later this year. He is currently serving his sentence at Johnson State Prison in Wrightsville.
4. Michael Blackmon – was convicted for an October 2011 burglary on 6th Street. He was already on parole for trafficking methamphetamines, and a Fulton County judge gave him a sentence to run concurrently with his existing parole-revoked sentence. He maxes out in August 2015, but has a tentative parole date of January 2015. He is currently serving at Autry State Prison in Pelham. Luckily we still have plenty of time to address his case.