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Public safety news: No injuries reported in Kirkwood home fire; hit-and-run driver convicted

Clarkston Crime and public safety Kirkwood and East Lake Trending Tucker

Public safety news: No injuries reported in Kirkwood home fire; hit-and-run driver convicted

Atlanta Fire Rescue responded to a fire on Hosea Williams Drive on June 13. Image obtained via Google Maps

Atlanta, GA — Atlanta’s Fire Department responded to a fire in Kirkwood on June 13.

A spokesperson for the Fire Department said, “[Atlanta Fire Recue Department] responded to [2000 block of] Hosea L Williams Drive NE after reports of a possible fire and an audible alarm sounding at the home. On arrival, firefighters found heavy fire in the rear of a two-story residence. Firefighters extinguished the flames without injuries to civilians or sworn personnel. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

In other public safety news:

— The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office has announced the conviction of a hit-and-run driver. 

The driver was convicted of striking and killing a woman on I-85.

Here’s the full announcement from the District Attorney’s Office:

Jurors returned guilty verdicts June 2 against Lester Rodriguez-Cabrera, 42, of Acworth, on charges of Reckless Driving, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked, Hit and Run Resulting in Serious Injury or Death, and two counts of Vehicular Homicide in the First Degree, in connection with the death of Jasmine Gaither, 31.  Rodriguez-Cabrera was also convicted on a Hit and Run charge related to a separate vehicle involved in the incident.

On December 3, 2021, Gaither was involved in a crash on I-85 south at North Druid Hills Road.  According to the investigation, she was standing outside the car on the shoulder of the highway when Defendant Rodriguez-Cabrera, driving more than 100 miles per hour, failed to maintain his lane and clipped a car next to him.  Rodriguez-Cabrera then hit the median, collided with the car again, and traveled across every lane of traffic, striking Gaither.

Witnesses saw Rodriguez-Cabrera climb out of the window of the truck he was driving and run from the scene.  The crash was recorded by another driver’s dash camera.

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams presided over the trial. Immediately following the conviction, Judge Adams sentenced Defendant Rodriguez-Cabrera to 15 years for the felony counts and 24 months for the two misdemeanors to run consecutively.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Tarver, with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Miriam Broussard, DA Investigator Samuel Washington, and Victim Advocate Marva Coward. Detective C. Curtis of the DeKalb County Police Department led the initial investigation.

Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks announced an 8% pay raise for city police officers during a press conference on Monday, June 12. The starting pay for new hires will increase by 12.5% to about $52,000 and all city employees will get an 8% pay raise as well.

“This adjustment reflects our commitment to providing competitive compensation that recognizes the dedication and vital role of our officers,” Burks said. “We believe it is important to maintain fair and equitable compensation across the board.”

Employees can expect to see the raise hit on their June 21 paycheck.

To read the full story, click here.

— One person is dead after they were hit by a vehicle early Friday morning in DeKalb County.

According to DeKalb Dispatch, police responded to the crash around 3:12 a.m. at Brockett Road and Lawrenceville Highway in Tucker. When they arrived, they found one person dead at the scene.

Police had a portion of Lawrenceville Highway blocked off near the intersection of Brockett Road and Moon Street to investigate. All roads are back open.

The crash remains under investigation.

— In light of the recent vote of the Atlanta City Council to move ahead with the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, activists announced Wednesday a campaign for a referendum that would allow registered City of Atlanta voters to decide the fate of the controversial facility.

The coalition responsible for the initiative, comprised of Atlanta voters, organizers and community leaders, said in a recent press release they want the City of Atlanta to repeal its lease to the Atlanta Police Foundation. They said they felt compelled to act after witnessing over 400 Atlanta residents speak against the proposed project on Monday and Tuesday, only for their concerns to be ignored.

For the full story, click here.

Reporter Zoe Seiler and Decaturish media partners Atlanta News First and WABE news contributed reporting to this story.

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