Atlanta Police Charge Three Men With Grant Park, Benteen Park Home Invasions And Rape
Trio also charged in Nov. 22 Virgina-Highland murder
Atlanta police have charged three men in connection with the Nov. 22 home invasion and rape of a Grant Park woman, the armed robbery and the killing of a Virginia-Highland man that same night and a subsequent home invasion in Benteen Park Nov. 27.
Police only named one of the three men — Tamario Wise, whom they said is the "ringleader." But all three are charged with murder, rape and three counts each of armed robbery.
Wise also was charged with a Nov. 8 armed robbery and aggravated assault of a taxi driver in Southeast Atlanta.
"I personally appreciate all this dedication to the investigation, during the holiday season this takes the officers away from their families and loved ones," said Chris Newman, a longtime Grant Park resident and chairman of the Grant Park Neighborhood Association's Public Safety Committee.
"I have heard from many Grant Park residents that they too appreciate all the efforts of APD. There is a sense of relief that some of these criminals are now off the streets.
"There will be much more challenging work for the DA and his team as the cases progress toward trials or plea bargaining," he said.
Police withheld the names and photographs of the other two men charged because the investigation is ongoing.
The trio also are believed to be involved in more than 20 crimes across the city between Aug. 18 and Nov. 27.
Police also are looking two other suspects they think may be connected to those string of crimes. But it's not clear what involvement, if any, they have in the Virginia-Highland death of Charles Boyer, 39.
Boyer was gunned down Nov. 22 by three masked gunmen as he and his girlfriend headed toward her apartment.
Boyer's killing, along with the home invasions, placed more pressure on the Atlanta Police Department to solve the cases quickly.
The department has come under fire in recent years for a perceived crime problem, even though the agency's top brass continue to highlight a downward trend in overall offenses.
"These incidents shocked our city and stoked fear even as crime numbers
dropped," Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said Wednesday at a news conference.
"But we know that numbers matter not. Because even as we approach the holiday season, when many of us gather to celebrate with families, we know that there are families today grieving the loss of loved ones and many others whose lives have been forever changed because of the actions of these men."
Mayor Kasim Reed, who spoke at the news conference, noted the attention the Boyer case received and the resources the police department funneled toward solving it quickly.
He also said it underscores the need for the department to receive adequate funding.
"The focus on violent crime is constant," Reed said, adding he hoped the City Council will give the police department sufficient funding so officers "have the resources they need so they can do their jobs."