Carlos Campos, public affairs manager for the APD, said in an email that Gregory Johnson, 30, confessed to the July 10 beating of George Walker, 31, an officer with the state Board of Pardons and Paroles. Johnson told police late Wednesday he took Walker’s cash and cellphone.
“The crime does not appear to be a random act. The two had met at some point prior to the assault, Johnson told investigators,” said the statement from Campos.
The APD 911 center received a call at about 6 a.m. on Saturday that a man who appeared to have been assaulted was on the ground in Central Park, located at 400 Merritt Ave., Campos said.
Walker’s black SUV was discovered in the parking lot of the gay bar the Atlanta Eagle late Tuesday night.
Walker was beaten so severely he has been placed in a medically induced coma and is being treated at Grady Hospital.
Campos said police do not know Walker’s sexual orientation and have not classified the beating as a hate crime. Officer Patricia Powell, the Atlanta Police LGBT liaison, has been informed about the case because of the Atlanta Eagle connection, Campos explained.
Police need to speak to Walker for more details about what happened after he is out of his coma, Campos said.
Atlanta Eagle co-owner Richard Ramey said a bartender remembers seeing the black SUV pull into the parking lot Friday evening, but does not remember anything about the person driving it. Atlanta Eagle staff also looked through the bar’s credit card receipts to see if Walker purchased drinks at the bar but no receipts were found, Ramey said.
Ramey added that there was no fight or incident at the Atlanta Eagle on Friday night.
“This did not take place at the Atlanta Eagle or in the vicinity of the Atlanta Eagle,” he said. “Nothing happened at the Eagle — that’s just where his car was found.”