Bystanders help police take repeat felon into custody near Buckhead

ATLANTA— A group of bystanders helped an Atlanta police officer take a repeat felon into custody Sunday near Buckhead.

According to the Atlanta Police Department, Zone 2 Officer Petkov observed a suspicious vehicle at Howell Mill and Trabert Ave. The suspicious vehicle, a silver Lexus, was affixed with a license plate that came back to a Honda.

Officer Petkov immediately attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but police say the driver did not stop until the car met a dead end, in a parking area. At this point, officer Petkov gave commands and approached the vehicle. While approaching the car, he observed the driver’s door open, and a shotgun fall out onto the ground.

Petkov made contact with the driver and ordered him out of the vehicle. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, police say the man resisted, broke free and ran a short distance.

Officer Petkov gave chase and deployed his taser. The taser was not immediately effective. During this time, a group of bystanders stepped in to assist with detaining the suspect. The suspect was eventually taken into custody.

Upon further investigation, the vehicle the suspect was driving was reported stolen out of the city of Atlanta on May 5. Petkov was able to recover the suspects abandoned shotgun.

Officer Petkov sustained minor injuries due to the scuffle.

The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Lavunn Jay Roberston, a convicted felon. He was charged with Seatbelt violation, Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Police, Driving While License Suspended/Revoked, Altering License Plates, Theft by Recovering Stolen Property, Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon, In possession of Drug Objects, Possession of Marijuana less than 1oz, Obstruction of Officers-Felony, and Possession of a Firearm during Commission of a Felony.

He was transported to the Fulton County Jail without incident.

In a social media post, Atlanta police officials thanked both Officer Petkov and the bystanders who helped capture the suspect.

“Due to Officer Petkov’s awareness, quick response, and bravery, he was able to take this armed repeat offender off the streets. At this time, we want to also acknowledge and thank each of the individuals who showed their own level of bravery and community and assisting our officers in getting this suspect under control so that he could effectively be taken into custody. Together we can make and keep our city safe,” police officials said in the post.

Reminder: Crime articles contain only charges and information from police reports and law enforcement statements. Suspects and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.