‘Hidden traps’ force closure of DeKalb park, officials say

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County officials said that protesters rigged a park with booby traps at the site of a proposed new public safety training facility.

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CEO Michael Thurmond revealed images Friday of boards with nails, sharp rusted wire and other items at a news conference.

Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln was at Intrenchment Park Friday, where the Decatur community has been able to enjoy biking and walking trails.

Now, county officials are asking the public to avoid the area and say it isn’t safe. The county has ordered the park to close.

“It’s dangerous to any human being, particularly children and or pets,” Thurmond said

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Ashli Lincoln was in Decatur, where the community is divided on what Thurmond’s message means. Some think it is a scare tactic to keep protesters away from the site.


Thurmond said he recognizes that no one wants to give up their park, but neighbors living near the future site said they may have to do just that.

Thurmond said law enforcement encountered hidden traps while walking the property, all within the last year.

“We hadn’t had the opportunity to inspect the park, because when we sent out employees, they were attacked with rocks or other objects,” Thurmond said.

The more than 80-acre property also houses the South River Trail, which wraps around not only the proposed training site, but also several neighborhoods.

A neighbor Lincoln talked to said it the announcement about the booby traps sounds fishy.

“That sounds like a smoke screen to me,” the neighbor said. “I think that they’re wanting to keep people out in order to keep protesters out.”

Thurmond said that the park is a threat to health and safety.

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What neighbors think is really going on, on Channel 2 Action News starting at 5 p.m.