Burglary and shooting committed by black teen heart transplant recipient (Anthony Stokes)
The burglary and shooting committed by black teen heart transplant recipient (Anthony Stokes) occurred on March 31, 2015 when black teen Anthony Stokes burglarized and shot at an elderly white woman before fleeing at high speed in a stolen car, and crashing the car while pursued by police (injuring a pedestrian in the process). Stokes's car was nearly split in half from the force of the collision; he had to be cut out from the vehicle and later died from his injuries.
|Burglary and shooting committed by black teen heart transplant recipient (Anthony Stokes)|
Anthony Stokes's Facebook profile picture at the time of his death
|Location||Alpine Dr, Roswell, GA 32118|
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|Date||March 31, 2015|
A troubled teenager who received a controversial heart transplant less than two years ago died Tuesday after he lost control of his car during a high-speed chase with Roswell police.
Anthony Stokes, 17, of Decatur, was also a suspect in a failed burglary and a carjacking, which police believe were linked to the fatal crash of the black Honda Accord on Ga 9, Officer Lisa Holland said.
Stokes made international news in August 2013 after the media reported that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston had not put him on a transplant list. The hospital ruled he was a bad candidate for the organ because of his background that suggested he would be “uncompliant” in treatment and had brushes with the law.
His mother, Melencia Hamilton, then told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that hospital officials stereotyped her son, who wore a court-ordered monitoring device, as a troubled teen.
“It just seemed they decided he’s a troublemaker, and that’s not true,” she said in August 2013.
Attempts to reach Hamilton for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Stokes suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, in which the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, fails to pump enough blood.
People who receive transplants must adhere to strict medication regimens to keep their bodies from rejecting the organs. A person can be disqualified if hospital officials think the patient won’t stick to that regimen, has no support system or an inability to pay for expensive anti-rejection medicines.
At the time Stokes was diagnosed, doctors said he would die within six to nine months without a transplant, Hamilton said. The hospital reversed course and Stokes received a heart after his mother and critics from civil rights organizations contended he was denied the heart because he was poor, black and had trouble with the law, which his mother said was for fighting.
After a failed burglary attempt of a Roswell apartment, Stokes apparently escaped in a stolen Honda Accord and lost control of the car, hitting a pedestrian after being chased by police. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The pedestrian is in stable condition at an Atlanta hospital.
Police reports say Stokes was arrested 11 times between 2010 and 2015 on a variety of weapons, burglary, truancy, auto theft, weapons, arson and terrorist threat charges.
After the transplant, Stokes was arrested twice more for shoplifting and weapons charges.
WXIA interviewed the carjacking victim:
The victim whose carjacked car was used in a burglary and police chase said he was almost killed by the suspect. Anthony Stokes, 17, of Decatur was killed while driving the stolen car when he slammed the vehicle into a metal pole.
It ended a crime spree that started at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody Tuesday afternoon. Shortly after 2PM Quintin Malone was walking to his car, a 1996 Honda Accord, which was parked in the lower level of the mall. Malone works at the mall.
What happened next started a chain of events that changed not only Malone's life, but at least three others. Malone said he was confronted by Stokes as he got into his car. "Once I tried to get into the car he came out of nowhere and slammed my head against the car door and threw me down," Malone said.
He was in a daze but soon realized his head was right behind the rear tire of his car and Stokes was starting his car. "Because my head was near the rear tire, if I didn't move away within a millisecond he was going to run me over and kill me."
Within the next hour, police say Stokes drove the stolen car to Roswell and tried to break into a home on Alpine Drive. He surprised an 80-year old woman who ran to a bedroom and called 911. The woman said Stokes fired a shot at her. He immediately fled the home in the stolen car.
Minutes later Stokes crashed Malone's Honda against a metal bank sign pole, but not before hitting another car and a pedestrian.
Police said it wasn't the first time Stokes tried to steal a vehicle. In January, DeKalb County police say he tried to steal a pickup truck from a Walmart parking lot on Gresham Road.
The owner of a blue Ford Ranger surprised Stokes as he was trying to start the truck and steal it. Police said Stokes used two screw drivers to pop the lock on the door and in the ignition to try to start it.
The owner called 911 and Stokes was arrested on the scene.
That was three months before Quintin Malone was confronted by Stokes at the mall. "Emotionally I'm just still pretty shook up about it," Malone said.
Malone said he remembers the stories about the controversial heart transplant Stokes received two years ago. "He had a second chance at life and he just blew it," he said.
The burglary victim's race is unknown but presumed to be white given the interview with her son, who is white:
The victim's address is likely 315 Alpine Dr, based on a Google Maps Streetview analysis. The Streetview shows a sign on the mailbox saying "THE WEATHERFORDS," which is backed up by the Fulton County tax bill locator shows the 2015 property tax bill for the address (parcel 12 -1994-0449-032-3) as belonging to owner Larry W Weatherford.
Stokes was initially denied a heart transplant in 2013, two years before his death because doctors believed due to his history of noncompliance that he'd be noncompliant with taking his medication to preserve the donated heart:
At the time Stokes was wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor, either for fighting or for drugs.
His mother rallied the press to his cause, getting sympathetic attention from reporters like black female Jovita Moore, who personally "requested [an] interview to find out how bad could this boy be that he would be denied a heart."
It would only be after Stokes died that police records would reveal that his rap sheet at the time of his transplant denial included "playing truant, burglarizing houses, possessing guns and setting fires."
More than a year after the heart transplant, Stokes was committing crimes like grand theft auto:
Tell that to Pamela Wiggins.
The morning of Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, was a cold one. Wiggins walked out of her Decatur home to warm up her blue Chevy Silverado. Before she could get back into her living room, she saw her truck going down the street.
She called police, who quickly stopped the truck. Inside they found Stokes, who had been in possession of his new heart for more than a year, with two guns.
When Wiggins arrived on the scene, she asked if she could speak to Stokes, who was in the back seat of a police car.
“I go over to talk to him, and all of a sudden he goes ballistic. He was in the back seat, kicking and screaming and yelling,” she said. “He said, ‘I am gonna (expletive) you up.’”
According to the police report, as Wiggins walked away, Stokes gestured as if he had a gun and made gun noises.
Wiggins got her car back and went and bought a gun.