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Teen steals police car, barricades himself in home

By Marcus K. Garner and Alexis Stevens - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

After allegedly stealing an East Point Police car, then abandoning it in southwest Atlanta, a 13-year-old then went to his house, where he locked himself inside for several hours Wednesday before surrendering.

Atlanta police SWAT officers attempted unsuccessfully to make contact with the teen, whose name was not released. But it took tear gas being deployed before the teen emerged from the house.

“He didn’t make any attempt to talk to us,” Sgt. Greg Lyon with Atlanta police said after the standoff. “There was no conversation between our officers and the suspect once he was inside the house.”

The teen apparently was alone inside his family’s Gideons Drive home, even locking his mother out, Lyon said. During the standoff, officers obtained both search and arrest warrants for the teen.

“Once the search warrant was obtained and we couldn’t make contact with the person inside, the SWAT team decided to deploy tear gas to see if they could basically bring him out of the house, which in fact that did work,” Lyon said.

The teen emerged from his family’s home in southwest Atlanta shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday and was taken into custody, according to police. Atlanta police assisted East Point police with negotiations at the home before the boy was arrested.

The string of events began when the patrol car was taken around 9 a.m., after an apparent accident near the corner of Oakland and Main streets, police said.

“One of our officers was running traffic on Main Street when a vehicle went by at a very high rate of speed,” East Point Police spokesman Lt. Cliff Chandler told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He followed until it crashed on Main at Astor in Atlanta.”

The officer arrested the teen, and after an altercation that ended with the officer using a Taser to subdue the youth, placed the teen into the back of his Dodge Charger traffic patrol car, Chandler said.

“Somehow, the 13-year-old was able to get from back of car and into the front,” he said.

The teen took the car. Police used the GPS device installed on the car to find it, and Atlanta police traced it to southwest Atlanta near Mozley Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Police put out an alert for the teen, and soon discovered that he had fled to his home nearby in the 1300 block of Gideons Drive.

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