Police: Piedmont Park stabbing related to similar Midtown attack

A man was stabbed multiple times and robbed in Piedmont Park several days after a similar attack less than two miles away. 

The incidents are connected and police have added extra patrols in the area, according to Major Michael O'Connor, commander of the Atlanta Police Department’s Major Crimes Section.

“That’s our biggest concern here is that we’ve had these stabbing incidents and the injuries have been fairly substantial,” he said at a press conference on Monday. “We really don’t want this robbery to escalate into a murder situation.”

The first incident occurred on July 18 around 10:30 p.m. on Peachtree Street near 4th Street. The victim, who was visiting from California, was having dinner at City Tap House with his supervisor when he stepped outside to have a cigarette. He was approached by three people, according to O’Connor.

“They were able to entice him by saying they knew of a party and did he want to go with,” O’Connor said. 

After leading the man to an isolated area, the suspects grabbed him in a chokehold, threw him to the ground, robbed him and stabbed him eight times. The victim is now out of the hospital and has returned home, according to O’Connor.

The second incident occurred in Piedmont Park on July 27 just after midnight. The victim was cutting through the park to get to the Midtown MARTA station, according to an incident report. The man was listening to music on his headphones when he was grabbed from behind in a chokehold and stabbed seven to eight times, according to O’Connor.

The three suspects then threw the man to the ground and kicked him in the head multiple times, according to an incident report. They stole his iPhone and wallet and fled the scene. The victim was in stable condition at Atlanta Medical Center as of Monday afternoon, according to O’Connor.

Police describe the suspects in both incidents as two black males and a black female in their late teens to early 20s. There were no witnesses and no cameras in the area of the July 18 incident. There was a camera in the area of the Piedmont Park incident, but it was not functional, according to the incident report.

Atlanta police are encouraging people to be aware of their surroundings if they are out late at night. Anyone with information on the suspects is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

UPDATE | Atlanta police have arrested three teenagers suspected of committing the two recent robberies and stabbings in Midtown.

Investigators identified the three suspects and obtained warrants for them on Tuesday. Police apprehended Malica Astin, 18, Sahib Russell, 19, and Ricardo Randolph, 18, early Wednesday morning and took them to the Fulton County Jail.

They are each charged with two counts of aggravated battery, aggravated assault strangulation, armed robbery, possession of a knife during the commission of a felony and battery substantial physical harm, according to Sgt. John Chafee, an Atlanta police spokesperson.

“We are extremely proud of the investigators who worked quickly to identify and located each of these violent suspects and get them off our streets,” he said in a press release.

UPDATE | The three suspects taken in custody are also linked to a robbery and assault at the Buckhead MARTA Station on Peachtree Road, Atlanta police announced Wednesday.

The incident occurred on the morning of July 22 as the victim was running to catch a train at the station. Two men grabbed her from behind and put her in a chokehold while grabbing her purse, according to police. Then a third person jumped in to try and grab the purse.

The victim let go of the purse and the three suspects fled. The stolen items in the purse included credit cards, an iPhone, $40 cash and other miscellaneous items, according to police.

“Investigators continue working this case and additional charges are anticipated as the investigation progresses,” Chafee said.