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National
Mom accused of chasing teens with bat, attacking one at son's bus stop after Instagram spat
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Mom accused of chasing teens with bat, attacking one at son's bus stop after Instagram spat

Mom accused of chasing teens with bat, attacking one at son's bus stop after Instagram spat
Photo Credit: Atlanta Police Department
Tiara Jones is accused of getting involved in a dispute between her son, Dashun McDonald, and two other Grady High School teens.

Mom accused of chasing teens with bat, attacking one at son's bus stop after Instagram spat

An Atlanta mother is accused of chasing two teens with a bat at her son's bus stop and attacking one of them, police say.

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She's now in jail, and police are looking for her son

Police told WSB-TV's Tyisha Fernandes that Tiara Jones got involved in a fight between her son and two other Grady High School teens after the boys exchanged threatening messages on Instagram on Monday morning.

Police said someone sent a "spoof" message, pitting certain students at Grady High School against each other. Jones' son, Dashun McDonald, confronted the other two about the message at their bus stop, police said.

Fernandes spoke to parent Alycia Aldridge, who said her son didn't even know McDonald.

"My son told him, 'First of all, I don't know you,' and he kind of backed down," Aldridge said. 

When the boys got to school, officials had heard about what happened and called them into the office. 

"It was supposed to be squashed," Aldridge said. 'They apparently bumped hands or shook hands, whatever it was, and went their separate ways." 

Later that afternoon, when the friends were walking home, they said McDonald approached them again, this time with his mom. 

Aldridge said Jones accused the boys of trying to fight her son. Jones then went to her car, popped the trunk and pulled out a bat, Aldridge said.

"She's twirling the bat, telling them she's going to bust him in his head," Aldridge said. "You don't get to chase people's children and approach them with bats."

The boys got away and called 911, authorities said. Police took a report, but didn't arrest Jones right away. 

The next morning, police said Jones showed up at the bus stop again and encouraged her son to fight.

A student recorded the fight on a cellphone. 

The video shows Jones trying to jump into the fight, and when a student wouldn't let her, she grabbed him by the hair and pushed him to the ground, WSB-TV reported.

Students broke up the fight and got on the bus to go to school, but police said Jones followed the bus and told her son to fight the boy again. 

Another video shows a school police officer thrown to the ground while trying to break up the fight, WSB-TV reported.

Parent Shearee Pittman said the entire incident never should have happened. 

"Had Atlanta police went to her Monday when I asked them to, just to arrest her for the stalking, none of this would have taken place Tuesday," Pittman said. "She wouldn't have been able to jump on that young man, those children wouldn't have been subjected to what they had to see, and she probably wouldn't be in jail." 

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News

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  • Protesters caused an estimated $10 million to $15 million in property damage in Buckhead this weekend, a community group said Monday. Property damage was assessed for a four-mile stretch of Peachtree Road between Wieuca Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue, said Buckhead Coalition president Sam Massell. The estimate did not include losses sustained from looting. City officials on Monday could not provide an estimate for damages downtown. Marches against police violence turned chaotic when some demonstrators began smashing windows, setting fires and looting businesses. The damage was primarily sustained by businesses with storefronts directly on Peachtree Road, but some businesses located inside Phipps Plaza were also targeted, Massell said. “They did break into the Gucci store in Phipps and took some merchandise, but it was limited to the display area and was not inside the store,” Massell said. Central Atlanta Progress has not completed an estimate for downtown, said president A.J. Robinson. City officials declined to provide a cost estimate. The Atlanta Police Department did not respond to a request for an estimate. The state Department of Insurance won’t have a cost estimate for riot damage for several weeks, after insurance companies report the number and total value of claims, said spokesman Weston Burleson. Most standard business owners policies include coverage for events related to civil unrest, riots and vandalism, said Bill Davis, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade association. These policies typically come with special riders for riot coverage, even if the applicant does not specifically request it, he said. They can also include business interruption coverage for a business’s downtime caused by vandals. Some policies require policyholders to buy additional coverage for plate glass windows, Davis said. Stolen goods and other items, like furniture, liquor, glassware and office supplies should be covered by a business owner’s personal property policy, Davis said. You may find this story and more at AJC.com.
  • A South Florida prosecutor was fired Monday for a social media post that compared protesters to anmals. Amy Bloom, an eight-year veteran of the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, wrote the post a day after protestors clashed with police in Fort Lauderdale, the Sun-Sentinel reported. She quickly deleted the post, but the image was captured and shared with other lawyers in Broward County, the newspaper reported. “When will people learn that their criminal acts and obnoxious protesting actually gets you nowhere?' Bloom allegedly wrote on Facebook. 'Act civilized and maybe things will change. I’ve never seen such animals except at the zoo.” In the post, Bloom added that her criticisms applied to everyone, regardless of race, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The demonstrators were marching to protest the death of George Floyd, 46, a Minneapolis resident who died May 25 after a police officer kept his knees on the man’s neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest. In a statement, the State Attorney’s Office announced Bloom’s firing. “Following our review of the Facebook posting by Ms. Amy Bloom, we have made the decision to terminate her effective immediately,' the statement said. 'The views expressed in that posting are entirely inconsistent with the ideals and principles of the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the duties and responsibilities of an assistant state attorney.” Bloom returned to Facebook to clarify and apologize for her post, the Sun-Sentinel reported. “I made a post and realized that it could be misinterpreted, so I deleted it within seconds,” she wrote. “I believe in justice for all and that ALL lives matter. I don’t look at anybody by their color shape or size ... My post specifically referenced the people who took advantage of the opportunity to protest. I respect the people who have a mission and wanted to accomplish it. It is hard to respect those who are taking it away with violence and destruction.”
  • Racism isn't getting worse, it's getting filmed,' actor, Will Smith. It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Atlanta, following two nights of vandalism and property destruction in downtown and Buckhead to the north, as well as all across our nation., I am driving through along Marietta Street, passing CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park. The sidewalks still hold lingering protesters, mostly young, the crowd is very diverse, and most are quietly exercising their right to peaceful assembly. There are really only two sounds permeating the area, both oddly out of place. Power drills at small businesses in almost every direction boarding up their windows, and helicopters overhead. And until the end of dusk and into nightfall, those sounds would remain loudest. On Monday, June 1, restaurants and bars across Georgia were given permission, while following a lengthy and enhanced set of sanitation guidelines to begin the process of re-opening. Roughly 46 percent of the unemployed across Georgia since mid-March are employed in the hospitality industry.  In Atlanta and elsewhere, thousands are legitimately protesting the recent and unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as many more who preceded them. Following months of near quarantine and lock-down, which has the nation on edge, minority communities are disproportionately being impacted by this pandemic, with a near majority of serious cases, hospitalizations and deaths arising primarily in under-served, black and brown communities. Only nursing homes and the medically fragile are succumbing in greater numbers to this virus. And in light of little being documentable fact and with conspiracy theories run amok, some begin to believe that the virus was intended to kill black people. But after several nights of intentionally civil protests turning uncivil, with property damage, riots, and violence escalating, I will also share the observation of many protesters, media on the ground and local/state law enforcement. Most of the bad actors leading the charge of looting, defacing public property and physical assaults on police and National Guard members are not from around here. On Friday evening as 10 Atlanta police squad cars were destroyed and set ablaze, 75 were arrested. The largest cluster of zip codes among those detained hailed from Chicago. All three nights, the crowd shifted from young, diverse and casually dressed, with shorts, flip flops and tennis shoes among the majority (wearing small masks as well), to what appear to be professional agitators, frequently dressed head to toe in black, with hoodies and bandanas, wraps or masks often leaving only their eyes visible. And instead of casual footwear, military issue boots with steel toes, all the better for breaking windows and windshields. George Floyd was tragically murdered on Monday, as word spread across the nation on Tuesday, and yet we would somehow believe that Atlanta area college students and Millenials who were justifiably angered thought to hit Ebay or Amazon to order their gas masks, incendiary devices and large cans of spray paint by Wednesday via their Amazon Prime, for those tools of anarchy to arrive just in time for the first march and protests of Friday afternoon? Sunday evening, while being interviewed by WSB-TV Action News, Ambassador Andrew Young, himself a lion of the Civil Rights movement spoke supportively to the protestors, while also noting that those seeking to become catalysts for anarchy and greater unrest were both usurping their message and platform, as well as inadvertently providing crowd cover for the anarchists. As is often the case, Ambassador Young made a very salient point. In media photos and across social media, protestors with gas masks were visible, particularly after dark, and one smaller female protester, wearing a gas mask, picked up a tear gas canister, emitting tear gas, and tossed it back at local and state law enforcement who had just set off the canister, after the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect. When this ends, hopefully soon, the costs of over-time and National Guard deployment necessary to quell riots and secure safety will come due, and those costs will be substantial. As we are still in this pandemic indefinitely, with government revenues gutted at all levels, where do you think we will have to go for budget cuts?  We don't have another generation to deal with these challenges, which are both systemic and real, now is the time to put the best minds in our nation together to re-build government standards, including policing, which do not treat or protect you differently simply because of your race, culture, gender, background or income. We can do this, and it's well past time.
  • A North Dakota woman is accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend in the groin during a disturbance early Saturday, authorities said. Terin Rene Stately, 32, of Fargo, was arrested on suspicion of murder and booked into the Cass County Jail, the Grand Forks Herald reported. Stately is accused of stabbing Keanen Joseph Poitra, 27, of Fargo, the newspaper reported. According to court documents, police responded around 3:30 a.m. and found Poitra bleeding heavily in an apartment hallway, KVLY reported. Poitra was stabbed in the groin, and the wound severed his femoral artery, the television station reported. Poitra was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the Herald reported. According to police, Stately said she was involved in a physical altercation with Poitra after she confronted him about other women, KVLY reported. Stately said she grabbed a steak knife and held it toward Poitra. Stately told investigators she did not know she had stabbed Poitra but admitted to putting the knife in the garbage, the television station reported.