UPDATED: Man Arrested After Loose Dog Dispute at Old Fourth Ward Skate Park

Atlanta Police made an arrest less than a day after Patch aired video of a man who appeared to slap a cellphone cam out of a woman's hand.

OLD FOURTH WARD — Social media and the fast thinking of Zone 6 officers apparently allowed police to quickly identify and arrest a man sought after an altercation with a mom at a local park.

Louis Rivera, 54, was arrested Friday and charged with simple battery in the incident that sparked outrage among many East Atlanta Patch readers and social media followers. This is at least Rivera's fourth arrest in the last few years — two of which were dog related.

Officer R. Ramirez and Investigator T. Dennis of Zone 6 have both received credit for making the arrest without incident.

Police said the incident started Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park after a woman asked Rivera to leash his dogs when she arrived there with a group of children.

The woman told police that he responded by saying that the children would have to leave the playground because he and his unleashed dogs had arrived there first.

When the woman pulled out her mobile phone to videotape the disagreement, the man approached her, and can be seen on video yelling at her, and apparently slapping the phone out of her hands.

Sgt. Gregory Lyon told Patch that tips came in from Patch readers and readers of a Virginia-Highland community site before the clip even hit the 6 p.m. local television news.

"Also, officers in the area knew the suspect as well," Lyon said. "A group effort!"

Officers knew him from prior run-ins with the law:

  • Rivera was arrested on Feb. 7, 2013 for allegedly shoplifting from the Publix at 1001 Ponce de Leon Ave.
  • Rivera was arrested on Sept. 10, 2012 on a warrant for simple assault for an assault that occurred on Aug. 7, 2012.  This was an incident where the victim attempted to pet Rivera's dogs that were tied up outside a business. Rivera allegedly came out yelling and punched the victim in his face.
  • Rivera was arrested on Aug. 25, 2011 for false info to police and violation of the leash law (both city ordinance charges). This was an incident involving one of his dogs reportedly being involved in a physical altercation with another leashed dog.

It is illegal to have dogs unleashed in any Atlanta park unless it is within a designated dog park area.

See also:

"Terrier-able" Behavior: Dog Owner Attacks Woman in Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park

Anna Varela February 22, 2013 at 07:23 PM
A comment was removed due to inappropriate language. We accept a wide range of opinions, but keep your language clean please!
Chris February 22, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Glad to see he was brought to justice. Now hopefully the legal system can sort this out and the man can get some help or counseling in addition to his potential jail time and or fines.
Whitney Williams February 22, 2013 at 08:13 PM
A friend made a good point... the argument was over the dogs being unleashed, but they look leashed in the video?
David Gibson February 22, 2013 at 08:56 PM
...doggone stupidity...
Ms. February 22, 2013 at 09:21 PM
If he hasn't learned how to obey the law after 3 prior arrests in less than one year at his age, he needs to do some time.
Amy Meacham February 22, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I reported about this arrest (with no profanity) which was on TV and you refused to print it because I "violated your terms of use policy". In what way?
Amy Meacham February 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM
How was my comment "Channel 2 noon news reported his name as Louis Rivera and that he has been arrested." a voilation of your terms of use policy?
Mike February 23, 2013 at 12:51 AM
After seeing the video evidence....sounds and looks like the woman instigated the altercation. She had to say something when it looked like the man was leaving ( with the dogs leashed!). Not that is was right to smack the phone out her hand....but I can definitely see how one might get annoyed by some yapping yuppie video taping you with her cell phone.
Henry Rivers February 23, 2013 at 01:04 AM
They edited the video. The lady was antagonizing him and he never told her kids to move. He was walking away and the lady followed him and had quite a bit to say which was convwnienrly removed from the video in order to make my friend look like the bad guy. Btw, all he did was knock her camera out of her hand. That's not battery. It is illegal to film someone without their permission and Lou is a very responsible dog owner. So quit with your ranting especially when you don't know the man. Thanks for letting me comment, Henry Rivers
John Ford February 23, 2013 at 01:06 AM
JamesMichael, this has nothing to do with the NRA. Please do try to stay at least somewhat on topic.
Henry Rivers February 23, 2013 at 01:11 AM
I spelled conveniently wrong. I was typing too fast. I didn't want to seem uneducated
Larson Miles February 23, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Parkside February 23, 2013 at 02:03 AM
There is no expectation of privacy in a public park, or any other public setting for that matter. Therefore, it is perfectly legal to record someone without their consent in a public setting.
Parkside February 23, 2013 at 02:11 AM
Also, I think it's highly unlikely that Rivera was able to knock the phone out of the victim's hand with such force without actually touching her hand. The legal definition of simple battery is intentionally making physical contact with someone in an insulting or provoking nature.
Dave Mason February 23, 2013 at 02:37 AM
It is not illegal to film someone in public. Additionally, here is the Georgia code for simple battery: (a) A person commits the offense of simple battery when he or she either: (1) Intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or (2) Intentionally causes physical harm to another. Seems slapping something out of a hand in the manner he did fits the bill. Even if they provoked him, he should have just walked away.
tony leroy February 23, 2013 at 09:15 AM
It looks more like the man was getting up from a park bench. And even if the woman said something to him, does that give permission for him to slap her? People like you boogle my mind.
Stephen W. Ramsden February 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Henry, While I greatly respect anyone standing up for their friends and would love to have more friends like you, the arrest record, several others coming forward with their stories of this guy punching them, and the video of him slapping a WOMAN's phone from her hand seem to indicate that your friend is in need of some serious counseling and possibly some jail time for his numerous offenses. Perhaps you could even be more of a friend by not patting him on the back or defending his behavior every time he gets in to more trouble, thus enabling him to continue. By the way, I would love for him to come up to this avid dog lover and try some of that stuff. We wouldn't need the police there to fix his behavior.
Roselyn February 23, 2013 at 03:12 PM
I agree, she was standing there filming a man and his dogs. She didn't want her face to be shown on camera...he has a right to take the dogs out. People who throw stones...now they call the tv station to help them.
Barbara Hays February 23, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Caught him "Forgetting he put merchandise in his pocket" from the store I work at about 3 months ago.
Steve Skinner February 23, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Tony and Roselyn and Mike, it is unlawful to have unleashed dogs in parks (other than designated dog parks). Mr. Rivera was in the wrong and let's not make this a dog lover issue or accuse the woman of being some sort of feminist yuppy bully. Children have a right not to be licked by random dogs and Mr. Rivera should have immediately leashed his dogs when the family entered the park.
contented-NOT February 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM
I wonder if he has a GUN? I wonder if he has a permit to carry a weapon? I wonder if he is eligible to buy a weapon under the Federal Background check?
Jrz Grl February 25, 2013 at 01:23 PM
She provoked him. If he slap her hard on the hand the phone would have broke. The phone is fine. Thanx Henry and Mike G for standing up for him he deserves it! The kid at Flat Iron deserved what he got, Jarred Thomas Orr....plz. Stealing is not assault. He is a a very nice guy and hundreds of dogs a year. No wonder he loves animals more than ppl. Oh and making comments about his mom not hugging him enough....ignorant so are all these judgemental comments. Almost none of you even know him.
Jrz Grl February 25, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Saves hundreds of dogs a year*
Stephen W. Ramsden February 25, 2013 at 02:38 PM
No, I don't know him, but I do know that people all over the city are coming up with stories of him losing his temper and assaulting them, usually people half his size, or women. Doesn't take a genius to figure this out.
Jrz Grl February 25, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Ppl talk a lot of crap when something happens and they want attention. There are many liars and ppl that imbelish stories. Doesn't take a genius to know that either.
Barri and Moochelle Sotero February 25, 2013 at 03:58 PM
let's defend this loser? Whatever, hope he gets some jail time so a thug can make him a jail wife
Tomathy February 25, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Is this his son? http://www.accessatlanta.com/ap/ap/crime/police-brockton-boys-rap-videos-inappropriate/nWYtx/
Tomathy February 25, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Hey Jrz Grl, If you are so worried about your boyfriend, then go bail him out!
Tomathy February 25, 2013 at 06:06 PM
"Angry, angry old man," Jarred Orr said. "There were two pit bulls tied up outside so I went to pet them because they were very friendly." Orr said he tried to pet the two dogs outside an East Atlanta restaurant on Flat Shoals Road. He said Rivera came running outside and ordered him not to touch his dogs. "I'm sorry, I was just petting them. No need to get an attitude about it," Orr recalled saying. Orr said Rivera replied, "Do you want to see me get an attitude about it?" Orr said the situation escalated when management kicked Rivera out of the restaurant. "Then he just sucker punches me right in the eye and runs away," Orr said.
contented-NOT February 26, 2013 at 11:30 PM
Does anybody here think he does NOT have an anger problem?


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