Atlanta church standoff suspect identified as ‘Snow on tha Bluff’ star

The man arrested Saturday in a church standoff has been identified by Atlanta police as the star of a film set in one of Atlanta’s most notorious neighborhoods.

In the dramatic film "Snow on tha Bluff," Curtis Snow is a robber and a crack dealer, who steals a camera from college students and documents his life.

Officer Lukasz Sajdak, a spokesman for Atlanta police, said the film was “just a movie,” but said Snow, whose legal name is Curtis Ward, has been both arrested in the past and investigated for drug-related crimes.

On Saturday, Ward allegedly barricaded himself inside a northwest Atlanta church during a funeral for his 94-year-old grandfather.

The standoff began about 3 p.m. in the bathroom at the Higher Ground Empowerment Center at 561 Spencer St. and was over by 6:30 p.m., The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

Atlanta's English Avenue is the main artery of what is commonly referred to as The Bluff,  one of Atlanta's poorest neighborhoods, where, in 2014, men were known to lie on sidewalks with plastic bags for pillows, or in doorways of houses whose numbers had long since worn away.

In 2015, Buckhead speculator Rick Warren was sentenced to 30 days in jail for blighted conditions among property he owned in the area.

The neighborhood is known for its drug, crime and prostitution problems, as Ward explored in the “Snow on tha Bluff” film.