John Portman’s grandson robbed in same parking deck where 2009 shooting occurred
A Georgia Tech student was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night at the same off-campus apartment complex where another student was shot during an armed robbery 2 1/2 years ago that heralded a long string of robberies and attacks against students on or just off the Tech campus.
The victim in Tuesday night’s robbery is the grandson of famed Atlanta architect John Portman.
According to Atlanta police, Jeffrey Portman and Virginia Beasley had just arrived at the parking deck of the Tenside Apartments at 1000 Northside Drive at Tenth Street shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when they were robbed.
“As they drove up the parking deck past the third floor, a vehicle pulled out behind them and followed them to where they parked,” Atlanta police spokesman John Chafee told the AJC.
“When the victims exited their vehicle, a black male wearing a mask approached them and pointed a gun at them,” Chafee said. “The suspect demanded their belongings and the victims gave them their suitcases, purse, wallet and phones.”
Chafee said the suspect then got into the passenger side of either a green Chevrolet HHR or a Chrysler PT Cruiser.
The driver of the vehicle, which was last seen going west on 10th Street, was also wearing a mask, Chafee said.
According to the Georgia Tech online student directory, Portman is a computer science major at the school.
In May, 2009, Georgia Tech student Patrick Whaley was shot during a robbery in the Tenside Apartments.
Whaley was getting out of his car in the parking garage when two men jumped out of a van with guns.
The suspects were rummaging through Whaley’s pockets when a couple walked out of the elevator and interrupted the robbery, he told police.
The suspects then forced the couple to the ground and took their credit cards, $280 in cash, cellphones and car keys, according to a police report. They then tried to force Whaley into the van, police said.
He was climbing into the van when another suspect approached and fired a shot. The bullet entered Whaley’s chest and went out his back. As Whaley fell to the ground, two of the suspects fled in the couple’s Audi while the third suspect left in the van.
Whaley survived the shooting, and police arrested Robert Hodge, DeAngelo Love and Maurice Brown for the shooting. Hodge was later sentenced to 30 years in prison, while Love and Brown each received 25-year sentences.
Tenside residents interviewed Wednesday morning complained about a lack of security at the complex, which draws residents from Tech’s student body as well as elsewhere.
“I moved in right after the last incident, when they had a young man shot,” said Timothy Goodale.
“There’s absolutely no security,” Goodale told the AJC. “In some cases, four and five cars follow one in because the gate stays open, and they’ve done nothing to correct it.”
Goodale said that about two dozen cars in the parking deck were broken into in one night late last year.
“Maybe eight weeks ago, there was somewhere between 20 and 30 cars that had their windows broken,” he said. “It was between 2 and 3 a.m., and only when a resident came home and caught somebody just systematically breaking the windows and going through [the cars] did the people take off, but they never got anyone.”
“Whenever there’s a robbery, you see some police presence, and then everyone forgets about it and you don’t see police presence for a while,” said Gerard Doorley, a Georgia Tech employee who lives in the building.