ATLANTA - A 17-year-old Atlanta teenager on Thursday became the fifth person accused in the beating of Joshua Lee Martin outside of Six Flags Over Georgia.
Deandre Evans faces charges of aggravated battery, battery, simple assault and violation of the Georgia Gang Act. He is in custody at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center with a $100,000 bond.
On Wednesday, an unnamed 16-year-old was arrested on the same charges. He is in custody at a youth detention center.
Willie Gray Franklin Jr., 17, Brad Johnson, 18, and another unnamed 16-year-old male were arrested on Tuesday. Johnson, Franklin and one of the 16-year-olds are seasonal employees at Six Flags, said park spokeswoman Christy Poore. They have been suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation and will be fired if found guilty, she said.
Poore said that Six Flags Over Georgia will likely re-evaluate its employee screening process after the July 3 beating of a teenager outside the park. However, the park has a limited ability to screen minors, since state law does not allow background checks on underage applicants.
'It's going to be talked about,' Poore said.
She added that before applicants are invited to come in for an interview, they are directed to an Intranet site where they are asked several questions concerning honesty. If they fail to get a sufficient score, the application process does not move forward.
Poore declined to elaborate on the test, saying that the park does not discuss its hiring policies.
Six Flags representatives met with Cobb County commissioners, activists and law enforcement for nearly two hours on Wednesday to discuss safety concerns following the beating of 19-year-old Martin. After the meeting, park president Melinda Ashcraft said in a statement that the situation is 'of grave concern to us and has been for some time.'
Also in the statement was a list of proposed solutions, including adding lighting and installing surveillance cameras in the area around the parking lots, bus stop and roads surrounding the park; increasing police patrols in the neighborhood; and adding a mini-precinct for Cobb County police.
Authorities believe as many as 25 people may have been involved in the incident, either in the beating or as witnesses.