National: Crime

Former Hoedown’s owner behind bars

A year after gay businessman Ben Elliott left Atlanta in a cloud of controversy, he was arrested Aug. 27 in Winchester, Tenn., following an extensive federal investigation. At press time, Elliott was scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 5 in federal court in Atlanta on multiple charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Elliott left town last summer after Hoedowns, the popular gay country bar where his family had become the majority shareholder, closed abruptly Aug.13, 2007. The contents of the bar were later sold at public auction.

Elliott’s tenure at Hoedowns was marked by anger from patrons who disliked the changes he made to the Atlanta institution, including dropping its format of all-country, all-the-time in favor of multiple drag shows and theme nights.

The Franklin County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Department arrested Elliott on Aug. 27. He was held overnight in the county jail, then transported to Chattanooga and transferred to federal authorities, said Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mike Bell.

Elliott is currently free on bond, according to the FBI.

Read the full story from Southern Voice here.    READ MORE »

Man who bites cop says he’s HIV-positive

A motorist who claims to be HIV-positive was behind bars Sunday after biting an Atlanta officer on the arm during his arrest in southwest Atlanta.

Ross Deadwyler, 41, and police crossed paths about 3:30 a.m. Saturday when an Atlanta officer tried to stop Deadwyler along Metropolitian Parkway after noticing the suspect’s vehicle had a broken headlight, said Officer Ronald Campbell, an Atlanta police spokesman.

Deadwyler sped off, prompting the officer to briefly give chase, Campbell said.

A Georgia State Patrol officer soon picked up the chase, finally apprehending Deadwyler on Sylvan Road, Campbell said.

Deadwyler bit out a plug of flesh from the Atlanta officer’s arm as the officer reached into his car to shut off the ignition, Campbell said. Deadwyler said he was HIV positive immediately after biting the officer, Campbell said.

For the full story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, go here.    READ MORE »