FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT:  Lyle V. Harris

 April 25, 2011                                                                          404.848.3982 

 

MARTA Police Arrest Suspects in Recent Train Assault; More Arrests Expected

The MARTA Police Department announced Monday the arrest of three suspects – including a juvenile and two men identified as brothers – in the April 16th assault of two customers on a southbound train. Police are continuing the investigation and are searching for others who are believed to have been involved.  

MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said Zantavious Sanchez Scott, 20, and Jarquez Scott, 19, are being held at the Fulton County Jail in connection with the incident. A 16-year-old male, whose name is not being released because of his age, is being held at the Metro Regional Youth Detention Center in Atlanta.  The suspects live in Atlanta and are being held on charges that include aggravated assault, aggravated battery and robbery by force. The suspects were taken into custody without incident.

Investigators have also obtained arrest warrants for at least two other suspects who live in Atlanta; a 19-year-old adult male and a 14-year-old male juvenile.

“We are continuing our investigation into this unprovoked and senseless act,” said Chief Dunham. “We advise anyone who may have been involved to turn themselves in. We intend to find you and will prosecute you to the full extent of the law.”

According to accounts from the victims and witnesses, the incident occurred shortly after Atlanta Police dispersed a large group of young people who had been attending a party at a club near Downtown. An unknown number of those patrons boarded a MARTA train a few blocks away at Garnett Station.

As the train headed south, several suspects confronted the two MARTA customers who were en route to the Airport Station. During the assault, the victims received minor facial injuries that did not require immediate medical attention and one was robbed of his wallet. Their assailants exited the train at Oakland City station and fled.

One of the victims disputed false media reports that the doors on the train failed to open as they should have and that the attack was as violent as it has been described by an anonymous witness who has been featured on local TV newscasts.

 “The doors opened fine so I don’t know where this so-called witness got that from,” said the 28-year-old victim.  “For some reason, the media made this out to be like it was a horror movie, but it wasn’t.”

The victim added that he was not afraid to ride MARTA, despite misleading news reports that portrayed the transit system as unsafe. MARTA’s is extremely safe and secure, and its statistics for the most serious types of crimes have been declining over the last several years.

“I think you have to be vigilant and you have to be careful, but that’s true wherever you go,” the victim said. “But I’ve never felt unsafe on MARTA. I’ve ridden it before and I will ride it again in the future. Actually, I rode it after this happened.”

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call MARTA Police at 404 848-4911.

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