Atlanta mayoral candidate Antonio Brown was nearly killed Wednesday when four boys, ages 7 to 11, stole his Mercedes Benz in broad daylight.
The Atlanta city councilman was attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony in northeast Atlanta around 12 noon when four boys jumped into his car, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
The white Mercedes-Benz coupe had a keyless push-to-start ignition and Brown didn’t realize the car had started, he said.
Brown struggled with the 11-year-old driver and held onto the door handle as the boy hit the gas. The Councilman was dragged one city block before he let go of the handle. He was not injured.
Brown doesn’t plan to file charges against the kids, who he says acted out of desperation, Atlanta’s WSB-TV reported.
“This is a generational poverty issue. These kids, it’s 12:30 in the afternoon. Why aren’t they in school? Why aren’t we enforcing systems to ensure that if they are not in school, they’re in recreational centers?” he said.
Young children are recruited to steal cars for car theft rings because they typically receive less jail time than adult car thieves.
Brown voted earlier this year to withhold $73 million from the Atlanta police budget, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
The news outlet aired video of the Councilman shaking hands with the overworked and underpaid Atlanta police officers who responded to his 911 call (see video below).
The Mercedes has not been recovered.
Brown is under federal indictment related to alleged charges in the years prior to him winning the council seat in 2019, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.