Tuesday, July 10, 2007

White teen in ICU after attack by a group of 10 to 15 young African-American males

Yolanda Rodriguez:

A Marietta teenager remained in critical condition Friday following a beating at the hands of at least 10 youths outside Six Flags Over Georgia on Tuesday night.

Joshua Martin, 19, was in the intensive care unit at Grady Memorial Hospital, police said.

Sgt. Dana Pierce, a Cobb police spokesman, said a witness told officers the attack was "unprovoked."

Reached on his cellphone, Gerard Martin said his brother appeared to be getting better.

It's unclear if he knows what happened to him, his brother said.

"He's kind of in and out ..." he said Friday. "He's stuck in the clouds right now."

Martin said his brother has spoken "a little."

The attack occurred about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday as the two brothers and a friend, Devin Antonio Carter, were walking to a Cobb Community Transit bus stop from the park.

The trio passed a group of 10 to 15 young black males, according to a Cobb police report. As they got close to the bus stop, the group approached the three boys and "told them they were looking for a white male who had said something offensive to them."

Then, the report said, three members of the group approached the Marietta teens "and tried to fight the three boys at the bus stop."

Gerard Martin and Devin Carter were able to get away. But Joshua Martin could not.

The group then "jumped Joshua and knocked him [to] the ground. They then punched and kicked repeatedly, even leaving a shoe print [on] Joshua's forehead," the report said.

According to the report, the group jumped onto MARTA bus 201.

Martin's mother, Barbara, is calling for the park to police the area outside its gates.

She said Friday that her son is "still in about the same condition."

Park officials, in a statement Friday, said that while the teens had been at the park earlier, "they were not at the park or on park property at the time this altercation took place. We are working with the authorities to assist them in determining the facts of this matter."

They declined to say if they would add more security to the popular amusement park.

There have been other cases of fights breaking out outside the park gates, police said.

"We try to do our very best as a law enforcement agency, and I'm not making excuses, but we have had other instances out there," Pierce said. "It's not just people cutting in line. It could be battery or assault."

Cobb police are asking for anyone with information about the incident to call the Crimes Against Persons Unit at 770-499-3945.

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