Powered by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Updated: 2:38 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2013 | Posted: 5:57 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2013

Crime-fighting security guard who is losing job now jailed on battery charge



By Christian Boone and Mike Morris

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The security guard who became an internet sensation after posting videos of himself fighting crime at downtown’s Metro Mall was arrested late Thursday afternoon and charged with battery.

Atlanta police officers were called to the mall near the Five Points MARTA station after Darien Long, 45, allegedly tackled a patron to the ground unprovoked.

APD spokeswoman Kim Jones said Long told officers the man had been warned to stay away.

“The video from inside the mall clearly shows Mr. Long run up to this person from the side and tackle him to the ground,” Jones said. “Mr. Long could not produce any documentation to back up his claim that the victim had been given a trespass warning and the video depicts Mr. Long acting as the primary aggressor.”

Long remained in Fulton County jail on a $2,000 bond early Friday.

It’s been a tough week for the vigilante guard, who, before his arrest, learned he was fired, effective at month’s end.

“The party line is that they can’t afford me,” said Long, the onsite manager of the mall who became a hero to many for his no-nonsense approach to dealing with criminals. “But it’s not like I make much money.”

Long’s tactics captured national attention when a lapel-cam video showing him tasing a woman who had verbally and physically attacked him was posted Jan. 28 on Wordstarhiphop.com. It’s since garnered nearly 2 million views.

An online drive to raise money to buy him better equipment followed, with pledges topping $20,000.

Long said he wonders if his aggressiveness led to the loss of his job.

“Some of these vendors want me gone,” said Long, noting two recent raids on vendors selling trademarked or stolen merchandise. “They’re happy they got rid of the guy with the camera.”

But Long will be missed by merchants including Francisca Shokane, who owns a hair salon in the mall.

“Before they hired Darien, they used to rob our customers and snatch pursues,” Shokane told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Now it is much better and safer. They don’t come in here and bother us anymore.”

Metro Mall management could not be reached for comment.

On his Facebook page, some applauded Long’s dismissal — “Guess you got just what you asked for,” said one commenter — though the majority bemoaned the news.

Long said he doesn’t think he’ll be replaced, leaving the mini-mall with no security personnel.

“In two weeks, it’ll be back to what it was when I got here: (expletive) crazy!” he said. “The drug dealers will be back, the prostitutes will be back …”

As for his own future, Long is circumspect.

“I think it’s going to be tough for me to get another job in this field,” he said. “We’ll see.”

More News

 
 

Today on MyAJC.com

Braves stadium will be named SunTrust Park

New home of the Braves: SunTrust Park

The Atlanta Braves’ new stadium in Cobb County will be called SunTrust Park as a result of a naming-rights deal announced Tuesday by the baseball team and the Atlanta-based banking company.

Reed: City will be involved in Hawks’ sale

Reed determined not to let another team leave Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who has already seen two professional sports franchises leave the city limits during his administration, is determined not to let a third get away.

Sept. 16, 2014

Photos: Obama visits CDC to discuss Ebola

President Obama traveled to the CDC in Atlanta to address the Ebola crisis and announced that he is sending 3,000 American troops to West Africa nations fight the spread of the Ebola epidemic.

Subscribe to the AJC on your device

24-hour Digital Pass: Flashback

See Flashback Fotos on myajc.com for only 99 cents. Visit the MyAJC archives for a historic look at Atlanta from Midtown in the 70s to Auburn Avenue and even life here before traffic jams on the interstates.

In your community

Annual Woofstock event in Suwanee

Volunteering in Atlanta

Learn how to volunteer in Atlanta and north Georgia, browse volunteer events and search local groups who need volunteers in the arts, community, food programs, housing, animal rescue and more.

Video

Mark Arum Weekend Construction Outlook

Updated every Friday, Mark Arum tells us where we can find construction, events and anything else to slow us down on the roads this weekend.