Athens gang members arrested in attack streamed on Facebook

Police recently arrested two Athens street gang members who live-streamed a Facebook video of them brutally beating a rival gang member, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report obtained Friday by the Athens Banner-Herald and OnlineAthens.

 

Police said the 18-year-old victim belonged to the Crips street gang and was attacked the night of May 10 for having done or said something that “disrespected” members of the rival Bloods gang, who jumped him near his home at Timber Chase apartments on Sycamore Drive.

Two suspects were arrested three days later after being identified by police from the Facebook video.

The victim’s girlfriend learned about the attack from a friend who saw the Facebook video, police said. After she contacted the victim by phone, he told her he had made his way to another apartment complex on West Broad Street. She took a bus to the location and from there called 911, police said.

The victim was mostly incoherent and unable to provide much information, but police said they obtained a video of the beating which identified two of the attackers as men affiliated with the Bloods gang – Eddie Bernard Thomas, 28, and 24-year-old Cedric Vonterries Ballard. The victim told police as many as four people might have attacked him.

Ballard and Thomas were each charged with aggravated assault, violating the the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act., and also with felony probation violations.

Ballard was one of seven suspects implicated in a November 2015 shootout in West Athens that killed an innocent bystander, 23-year-old Breana Blackwell, who was sitting in a parked car near the shooting.

Though police were unable to identify the person who fired the gun that killed Blackwell, all of the suspects were arrested two months ago for violating the street gang act. Ballard subsequently bonded out of jail and was additionally charged with violating the conditions of his bond in connection with last week’s attack.

Follow Criminal Justice reporter Joe Johnson atwww.facebook.com/JoeJohnsonABH or www.twitter.com/JoeJohnsonABH

 

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