Neighbor helped save women injured by hit-and-run-driver

Man charged with crash that seriously injured best friends

A man jailed on other charges is now accused in a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured two best friends, Atlanta police said Thursday.

Byron Devon Perry, 38, of Atlanta, was charged with two counts of serious injury by vehicle, two counts of hit and run and other related charges for the Saturday crash, Officer John Chafee said.

Adrienne Smith, 22, and Brianna Johnson, 21, were talking as they sat on a wall near a southwest Atlanta park around 12:30 a.m. Saturday when they were hit by a driver who left the roadway, according to police. The women were dragged a short distance and Smith was temporarily pinned under the vehicle, police said.

Perry then allegedly crashed into a fence and ran away from the scene, according to police.

Part of Smith’s leg had to be amputated due to her injuries, and Johnson’s pelvis is broken, their families said.

The driver did not stop after hitting the two women, but witnesses provided investigators with a description of the vehicle, believed to be 2013 Ford Fusion rental car. Perry was employed by a rental car company, Chafee said Thursday.

Earlier this week, family members of both victims pleaded for the person responsible to surrender.

“They are more concerned about each other than anything else,” Amy Smith, Adrienne’s mother, said Tuesday. “They have a bond that is only going to get stronger.”

Perry was arrested by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday on an outstanding warrant from Richmond County, jail records show. A three-time convicted felon, Perry was released from state prison most recently in 2009, after spending three years behind bars on a theft by receiving stolen property conviction.

More recently, Perry was in the Fulton jail in May for an arrest on an aggravated assault charge, booking records show. In that incident, Perry allegedly pointed a gun at his girlfriend’s head, leading her to call police, according to a report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Perry denied that accusation to police, who executed a search warrant of the couple’s apartment.

“I don’t even have a gun,” Perry allegedly said while in the patrol car. “I’m trying to turn my life around. Why would I want to do that? Can’t believe my mouth is getting me into trouble.”

Perry was being held without bond Thursday night.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.