ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is condemning the actions of a 14-year-old “water boy” accused of assaulting a police officer.
Investigators say the 14-year-old struck the officer in the face, fracturing his eye socket and inflicting nerve damage, which could potentially cause this officer to go blind.
On Tuesday Channel 2′s Michael Seiden went back out to the spot where the encounter began.
It didn’t take long to find a group of teens selling water.
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A video shows teens selling bottled water to drivers as they exited Interstate 75 onto 10th Street Tuesday afternoon.
It’s unclear if any of these so-called water boys were involved in Saturday’s assault, but Atlanta police say one of their officers was in the same area when he saw a 14-year-old boy selling drinks in the middle of the road.
When the officer tried to approach him, police say, the teen started running.
The officer caught up with him at the Midtown MARTA station and that’s where investigators said the teen hit the officer in the face.
The blow fractured the officer’s eye socket and may have caused some nerve damage that could potentially lead to blindness.
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“They just have nothing to do and nowhere to go,” said Andrew Wanjohi. “All they’re doing is looking for money. That’s just a simple hustle that’s been taught to them.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Channel 2 has been reporting on violent and sometimes deadly incidents confrontations involving water boys.
As soon as Mayor Andre Dickens took office, he and the Atlanta police department started working on solutions to help address this illegal activity.
So far, the mayor’s summer youth employment program has proven to be a success.
The program connects at-risk youth with private businesses that are willing to hire teens from across the city.
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As of Monday, the city says nearly 3,500 kids have joined the program. More than 100 businesses are participating in the program. Currently, there are still more than 2,700 available jobs
For more information on the program, click here.
Atlanta police confirmed the teen was arrested, but did not release his name or age.
He faces the following charges: aggravated assault, aggravated battery, terroristic threats, obstruction, pedestrian in the roadway, pedestrian soliciting business and littering.
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