THE BLOTTER: Only in the South

And other tales of life in the ATL and beyond

An Atlanta man driving a tractor allegedly led police on a slow-speed chase through three small suburban cities, crashing several times along the way, before his bizarre arrest at Waffle House (where else?)

Hapeville Police said they got a call around 9 a.m. to the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel to help College Park Police deal with a chase. Cops were following a man driving a John Deere Tractor pulling a lawn mower down Virginia Avenue. Cops repeatedly tried to pull over the tractor — but the driver just kept on going — through College Park and East Point. —

As more officers arrived at the scene, the driver allegedly made swerving motions toward the patrol cars, according to WSB-TV.

The 20 mph chase — yes, 20 MILES PER HOUR — ended up turning on Bobby Brown Parkway before getting out of heavy traffic — the tractor driver turned into a McDonald’s parking lot, skipped the drive-thru and wound up at the Waffle House next door.

Police said they told the driver to get out of the tractor — but he slammed into a patrol car. Cops jumped into the tractor and pepper-sprayed the driver. “The officer had just made it inside the cab when it crashed into a vehicle parked directly in front of the (Waffle House) restaurant,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The AJC found a hilarious video of the man’s arrest.

“You cannot make it up! Every day something happening at the Waffle House,” a woman said in the video on social media. “This is ridiculous,” another Waffle House customer added.

Turns out, the driver allegedly stole the tractor. He went to Fulton County Jail and is facing a felony theft charge.

Monster clash

A North Georgia homeowner wants to build a massive sculpture of a fire-breathing dragon atop his property on Whiskey Mountain. His plan for a 35-foot-tall winged dragon made of metal and fiberglass — the wings stretching 160 feet across — is incredibly ambitious.

Neighbors in the mountain town of Hiawassee, GA, are less than thrilled. (That’s putting it mildly.) The AJC notes that 160-foot wingspan is “roughly the width of a football field from sideline to sideline.”

“I just want to do something cool,” homeowner Mike Parrish said during a City Council meeting, according to the AJC. “If you don’t like dragons, I’m sorry… I hope to be a good neighbor in Hiawassee — with my dragon.”

A nearby resident responded: “Why do we have to get involved in your fantasy?”

Parrish bought the 2-acre property near the top of Whiskey Mountain back in 2008. He’s just now getting around to plans for building several “geodesic domes” that could be rented out as AirBnBs. Plus the dragon.

The builder Parrish hired said the dragon looks “gargoyle-like,” which may have spooked some nearby residents. The builder told the AJC that a “happier”-looking dragon more along the lines of Pete’s Dragon or Puff the Magic Dragon might have won over the upset neighbors.

A petition against the dragon sculpture has more than 1,400 signatures. The woman who started the petition told the AJC: “I don’t care if it’s a dinosaur. I don’t care if it’s Fred Flintstone. I don’t want to look at a giant sculpture detracting from our mountain’s scenic beauty.”

Lakefront squabble

The mayor of the city of South Fulton — is now back in office after his bizarre arrest at a lakefront home on Cascade Palmetto Highway.

A lakefront homeowner got a surveillance notice that someone was entering his home on Cascade Palmetto Highway.The homeowner said he watched on surveillance as the mayor walked up his driveway and entered his home. So the homeowner called 911.

According to Fox5AtlantaTV: “Five minutes later, (Mayor) Kamau walked out and the owner approached him, telling him to “stay put.” “I don’t have to listen to you, and you can’t give me orders,” Kamau allegedly replied. The lakefront homeowner said Kamau did not identify himself as the mayor of South Fulton until the homeowner took out a gun and held it by his side.

“Do you know who the fuck I am?” Kamau reportedly yelled. “I’m the mayor, and I’ll wait for my police force to get here and see what happens then.”

Now, Mayor Kamau has a slightly different story. He says he was fully aware he was trespassing. “He told officers the property was his dream home, and he was interested in purchasing it,” according to Fox5Atlanta.

The mayor said he tried to introduce himself to the lakefront homeowner, but the homeowner threatened to shoot him.

Mayor Kamau is facing first-degree burglary and trespassing charges. We don’t know what the burglary charge stems from — we saw no mention of him trying to steal anything in any report.

Following his arrest, Mayor Kamau was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, according to WXIA-TV.

Later, Mayor Kamau wrote on Facebook that he’s both “good” and “free.” He posted a Bible verse about “those who are persecuted because of righteousness.”

Also, he noted on Facebook: “God is still using me. Stay tuned.”

Dead ends, part 1

A 47-year-old man allegedly went to his brother’s home near Collard Valley Road to visit his child (his brother has custody). The two brothers got into a fight. The 47-year-old allegedly attacked his brother, tried to choke him, hit him with a living room table. Then, the 47-year-old allegedly opened a box containing his dead mother’s ashes, “ripped open the bag” and covered his brother and himself with the ashes.

According to WSB-TV, the 47-year-old went to Polk County Jail.

Dead ends, part 2

Police broke up a “borderline riot” at a memorial service held in a Target parking lot.

Police in Carrolton, GA, got a call about reckless drivers in the Target parking lot. About 70 trucks were revving their engines and doing burnouts, WSB-TV reported.

A woman told WSB-TV that she held her cousin’s memorial service in the Target parking lot because that’s where he would hang out with his friends. She said, “I got pushed on by a police officer, a grown man.”

Police said the crowd included many elderly people and kids. “I found it strange that these individuals would be in such close proximity to a volatile situation,” the officer said in the report. “The presence of the elderly and the young prevented me from utilizing my police weapons to gain compliance. I felt the members in the crowd knew this and used it to their advantage to continue the altercation.”

The cousin’s father was arrested for disorderly conduct. The cousin’s sister was charged with obstruction and battery. —CL—

The Blotter Diva compiles reports from the Atlanta Police Department and local news reports — and puts them into her own words.

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