When he pointed toward the group, two teenage boys began to run away, Chafee said. Officers were able to catch a 15-year-old, but the other teen got away.
Police found a loaded handgun in the suspect’s bag, but the victim declined to press assault charges against the juvenile. Instead, officers charged the teen with possession of a firearm by a minor and pedestrian in the roadway, Chafee said.
The teen offered officers $300 if they would let him go, which led to an additional charge of bribery.
According to police, he had been arrested several times before on charges of armed robbery, breaking into a vehicle and theft of a vehicle. The Fulton County Juvenile Intake Unit declined to take the suspect, who was released to his mother later that day.
The next day, about 5:30 p.m., police responded to the 3300 block of Peachtree Road after a similar incident. A 14-year-old was accused of carrying a handgun and threatening people as he sold water in the area, Chafee said.
When officers found that teen, they noticed a bulge under his shirt, which turned out to be a handgun, according to police. The teen was detained and charged with possession of a firearm by a minor, pedestrian in the roadway, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and littering.
He was released to his aunt after intake officers declined to house him, too.
Because the suspects are being charged as juveniles, authorities are not releasing their names.
The incidents are the latest in a string of disputes between children selling water and drivers on Atlanta’s roads. A man was shot Thursday on an I-20 exit ramp after a dispute with a group selling water, AJC.com previously reported.
An 18-year-old was shot and killed late last month during an altercation in Midtown. Surveillance footage from the scene indicated the victim may have been with a group of teens selling water just before he was shot multiple times, police said.
Earlier this month, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an administrative order creating an advisory council tasked with developing strategies to help promote youth entrepreneurship in the city.
“Our youth, including those who take to the streets to sell water and other goods, have shown us how productive and capable they can be as up-and-coming entrepreneurs,” Bottoms said.
The advisory council, which includes residents, business leaders, nonprofits and faith-based organizations, is expected to report its findings to Bottoms on Friday.
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