• Police arrest man accused of randomly punching people

    By: Amy Napier Viteri

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - A man accused of sucker punching at least three people is in jail, police said.
     

    Channel 2 Action News first reported on 31-year-old Curtis Bethea’s alleged strange behavior on the Channel 2 Action News Nighbteat on Tuesday.
     
    Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri has been digging into Bethea’s past and found that the suspect was recently arrested for an unrelated crime.
     
    Atlanta police believe that Bethea is behind several unprovoked attacks in which he walked up to strangers and viciously punched them in the face.
     
    Neighbors with whom Viteri spoke were worried about the string of attacks.
     
    The most recent incident happened Tuesday in an office building on Peachtree Street, police said.
     
    A week ago, a man told police that someone punched him in the face, knocking him into the street and causing him to nearly lose consciousness as he walked from a restaurant to the Midtown Arts Center MARTA station.
     
    “It was just a random act of violence. I have no reason, no idea, but I can tell you I did make eye contact with him,” one of the victims told Viteri.
     
    The victim, who asked not to be identified, said he noticed Bethea seconds before the man struck him, breaking his glasses and cutting his face.
     
    “All of a sudden (I) got punched in the face-- just completely cold-cocked,” the victim said.
     
    Investigators believe that Bethea also punched a man on Crescent Avenue Jan. 5, knocking him to the ground.
     
    “This is one individual just walking down the street and making the decision to punch someone in the face,” Atlanta Police Officer Ralph Woolfolk said.
     
    Viteri found that Bethea has a lengthy arrest record, including one from November, when officers charged him with exposing himself to a woman working on Peachtree Street.
     
    Neighbors and victims were relieved to hear that he's now in custody.
     
    “That would be really terrifying,” neighbor Christa O’Neil said. “If he got arrested not long ago for exposing himself, I don't know why he'd be running around punching people in the face now."


    Next Up: