An armed robber pistol-whipped a 53-year-old gender nonconforming person in his Midtown home last month then stole the victim’s puppy. The suspect is still at large and the puppy — a tan and white pit bull named Buddy — has not been found.
The incident occurred in the early morning of Aug. 29 at a residence on Penn Avenue. The apartment is just a few blocks from where an LGBTQ bartender and her dog were stabbed and killed earlier this summer.
The victim on Aug. 29, who wearing a dress at the time of the incident, told police he uses he/him/his pronouns. Police say the incident is not a suspected hate crime, though the department’s LGBTQ Liaison Unit is assisting in the investigation.
The victim was driving down Piedmont Avenue around 3:30 a.m. when he stopped and picked up an unknown man, according to Atlanta police. The victim took the man home and the two had sex.
“When finished, the unknown male went into the bathroom and returned pointing a black revolver at his head telling [the victim], ‘I should kill you right now’ [and] ‘get on the ground,’” according to police.
The suspect hit the victim multiple times in the head with the gun, and indoor security video (below) captured some of the incident .
“I decided if I was going to die then I was going to die,” the victim told Fox 5. “I got up and I ran towards the door and opened the door.”
Victim is federal corrections officer
The victim escaped the apartment and got help from neighbors, who called 911. The suspect grabbed a dog crate with the puppy inside, ran outside, shattered a window of the victim’s car and retrieved a black duffle bag he had brought with him. He also stole a gold ring from the victim.
The suspect was last seen heading south on Penn Avenue toward Ponce de Leon Avenue. He was a Black man wearing a black shirt and black jogger pants with two white stripes down the legs, according to the victim.
The victim suffered face and arm lacerations and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. He told Fox 5 that he’s shocked the incident happened after telling the suspect he’s a federal corrections officer.
“The dumbest thing you can do is assault anybody, but then to assault a federal correctional officer,” he said. “I wish nothing but bad for you. Nothing but bad, and you will get it.”
Anyone with information on the suspect or the whereabouts of the stolen puppy can call 911, call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477 or submit the information online. Tipsters remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward up to $2,000 after any arrest and indictment.
Janness, Dowd cases remain unsolved
This latest incident occurred during a summer of high-profile incidents in Midtown involving LGBTQ people.
A gay Atlanta man was found critically injured on railroad tracks near Piedmont Road in July. Police said it’s still a mystery how 28-year-old Josh Dowd ended up on the tracks with a severe head wound and barely breathing.
Dowd is recovering at the Shepherd Center. Friends started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for Dowd’s medical bills. It’s raised about $141,000 of a $300,000 goal.
40-year-old Katie Janness and her dog were stabbed and killed near the Charles Allen entrance to Piedmont Park later that same month. Janness’ wife discovered the bodies after she tracked Janness’ cellphone to the park.
The Crime Stoppers offer in the Janness killing is up to $10,000.