Newton County

4 arrested after video of Covington teens beating man goes viral

COVINGTON, Ga. — Video of a fight in the parking lot of a Covington business that began circulating on social media last week has led to four people being arrested.

Covington police say a fight broke out among of group of young people at the Park and Ride on Hwy. 278 and Turner Lake Road last Friday night.

Officers say they were not made aware of the fight on Friday night because no one ever called 911.

The person seen being beaten up in the video, 21-year-old Joseph Thompson, flagged down a Covington officer on Friday night after the fight and told them about a person with a gun, but did not reference the fight.

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Video of the incident began circulating on social media on Sunday and was brought to police’s attention.

The video, which was shared with Channel 2 Action News by a witness, shows a group of people beating up Thompson as more people watch.

Officers spoke with Thompson later on Sunday after they say he sped away from police in a stolen car. He was subsequently arrested for that incident. They say he did not have any injuries from the fight on Friday night.

Investigators say they learned that Thompson started the altercation by making threats toward the group before being attacked.

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Three other people were arrested and charged for the attack. Jason Redding, 18, John Rodriguez, 18, and James Edge, 19, are all charged with simple battery.

Police added that one of the three teenagers had a gun, but it was not used, so they did not charge anyone with a gun offense.

Thompson was also charged with terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

Redding and Edge have bonded out of the Newton County Detention Center. Thompson and Rodriguez are still being held.

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