Atlanta

Teen carjacking suspect who led police on chase through Atlanta has long criminal history

ATLANTA — A suspected gang member accused of committing crimes across Atlanta is back behind bars after leading authorities on a high-speed chase.

The driver, Nakyris Ridley, had just celebrated his 18th birthday in December, but a review of his criminal record shows that he has been arrested more than a half dozen times since 2017 for carjackings and a number of other auto-related crimes.

Buckhead business owner Bryan Kirkland told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden that he was one of Ridley’s victims.

“I was in the store all of 3 minutes and pretty much within sixty seconds (my car) was gone and on the road,” Kirkland said about the moment he became the victim of a slider crime.

It all happened last summer in the parking lot of Fresh Market in Buckhead off Peachtree Road.

Bryan says as soon as he walked out of the store, he spotted a thief sitting in the front seat of his Range Rover.

“I had a dog in the car. Basically, my life,” Kirkland said.

Police tracked down the stolen SUV. They were able to arrest and charge several suspects, including Ridley.

“When they were pulled over, they ended up having five guns in the car,” Kirkland said.

On Monday, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Ridley and two other defendants for their alleged roles.

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Some 48 hours later, an Atlanta police report accused the teen of stealing a Dodge Charger from a Buckhead parking garage off Peachtree Road, then leading police and state troopers on a dangerous chase through the streets of Atlanta.

Seiden checked jail records on Friday and learned that Ridley is being held in the Fulton County Jail without bond.

A review of his criminal history shows that he’s been arrested seven times since 2017 on a number of felony charges, including multiple carjackings.

Court documents also accuse him of being a member of a local gang.

Tyrone Dennis is a retired Atlanta police gang detective who has investigated many of metro Atlanta’s most notorious gangs.

He says if a young criminal isn’t held accountable then, unfortunately, you can expect even more violence.

“I might become a robber or a carjacker where I’m pulling guns on people. Then I get comfortable with that, and someone fights back and may force me to shoot them,” Dennis said.

Seiden wanted to get a better idea of how prevalent gangs are in metro Atlanta, so he contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and they provided him with numbers.

Just for the city of Atlanta in 2021, the GBI’s gang task force, which works with multiple law enforcement agencies, including APD, reported 170 documented street gangs, more than 270 gang-related investigations, 269 suspects arrested on felony charges and more than $19 million in seized contraband, including 40 firearms.

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