Gay Atlanta guys fight crime, one Jeep at a time

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A late-night stroll to the laundromat turned into a crime fighting adventure for a gay Atlanta couple, who stalled an auto break-in despite a cranky criminal threatening them with a piece of wood nearly four feet long.

And the suspect wasn't shy about striking back. Once Atlanta police arrived and cuffed Art D. Settles, 53, he struck back. Or more precisely, allegedly kicked one of the cops putting him in the paddy wagon.

It didn't start out like this. Franklin Stevens and Patrick Dineen, armed only with Stevens' dog, took off on 10th Street for a walk to the laundry. At 1:30 in the morning in Midtown, there's no telling what you might walk into. These guys, in an alley between 9th and 10th streets, spotted something amiss at a neighbor's Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to a July 14 incident report from Atlanta police.

Mostly, an open door on the SUV with legs sticking out.

“When they approached they noticed the suspect's legs hanging out of the vehicle while he was looking through the inside.”

Stevens told Settles (second photo) to get out of the vehicle while Dineen went to get the Jeep's owner. But Settles, cranky about the interruption to his late-night rummaging, grabbed a piece of wood and allegedly threatened Settles. Batter up!

“Mr. Stevens stated that when the male got out of the vehicle he picked up an approximately two foot long flat piece of wood and held it ins batter's position while telling Mr. Stevens to let him go.”

This alley comes well stocked with debris. So Settles dropped that scrap of wood and grabbed a sturdier 4 X 4 piece nearly four feet long.

“Mr. Settles then backed into a corner of the fence and continued to hold the piece of wood over his head and threaten Mr. Stevens while telling him to let him go and that it was okay.”

But apparently it wasn't. The vehicle's owner, Maximilian Willie, showed up and helped the others detain Settles until police arrived. Settles, once arrested, repeatedly told police that he wasn't where the witnesses witnessed him and that their allegations were “all hearsay.” Never mind his lengthy arrest record for robbery and entering autos.

Settles didn't help his pleas of innocence when he allegedly kicked Officer T. Summey as he was loaded into the paddy wagon. That caused a door to the van to close on Summey's hand.

Settles remains in the Fulton County Jail, facing charges of obstructions of a law enforcement officer, entering an auto and aggravated assault.

The gays always get their man. Especially on 10th Street.


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