Man robbed with assault weapons in East Atlanta

Man robbed with assault weapons in East Atlanta

An Atlanta man walking home from a popular East Atlanta bar was robbed early Sunday morning by three men, two of whom were toting assault weapons, police said.

The robbery was the latest in a string of crimes that have plagued East Atlanta dating back to the fatal shooting of Patrick Cotrona over Memorial Day weekend.

The unidentified victim in the most recent incident told investigators he left Mary’s a little after 2 a.m. when he was approached by the three men along Glenwood Avenue near the intersection of Blake Avenue, Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said.

One man was carrying what looked like an AK-47 style rifle while the other gripped a semi-automatic pistol. It is unclear whether the third man in the group had a weapon, but the trio told the victim to hand over his cell phone and everything in his pockets, Jones said.

The victim, who was uninjured, couldn’t tell police if the robbers were on foot or had a nearby getaway car because they instructed him to turn his back to them and proceed walking east on Glenwood, Jones said. He was warned not to look back.

Police said the suspects appeared to be in their early 20s.

Atlanta police have increased patrols in the area since the Cotrona shooting, which remains unsolved. The 33-year-old video game engineer was walking to a nearby bar with two friends when the group was ambushed by two youths. Cotrona was shot in the abdomen and one of his friends was shot in the leg. That man survived, while the other was able to escape without being shot.

Only days before, Saman Balkhanian, 22, was walking home from an Atlanta Braves game when two teenagers ran up behind him near Grant Park and shot him in the face. Balkhanian survived, though he lost his right eye. No arrests have been made in that incident, either.

Investigators have said they believe those shootings could be linked to a series of assaults and robberies that have occurred in the area since mid-May. Police did not say whether they believed Sunday’s robbery was related to those earlier cases.

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