Holiday remains quiet in Clayton County

By Justin Boron

Clayton County police responded to a 2-car accident with no serious injuries Thursday afternoon on an Interstate 75 on-ramp, but other than that police officials said it was a quiet holiday in the Southern Crescent.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, expecting its busiest Thanksgiving in history, also appeared to be bustling as usual in the afternoon.

Passengers lounged in the atrium and hustled through baggage claim as cars lined up on either side of the terminal to pick them up.

Nicolas Papadopoulos, 19, watched “Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” as he waited for his plane back to Switzerland. The international student at Emory University in Atlanta said he was traveling home for the Christmas holidays.

Linda Crowe, 58, of Lavonia, Ga., spent part of her Thanksgiving at the Atlanta airport because her son was on his way home from a non-military job in Afghanistan. But at 2 p.m. she wasn't sure when he would arrive.

“They're already delayed so we don't know,” she said.

The beginning of the holiday season wasn't without some crime however.

On Tuesday morning, Patsy Springer, 53, waited in line for nine hours at Best Buy in Morrow to buy the new the Xbox 360 video game system.

She made her purchase and went home. She left the vehicle to move trash cans, and returned to her items, police say.

While on the steps of her home looking for a key, a black male approached her from behind with a semi-automatic black pistol, police say. He pointed it at her face and demanded the Xbox. She resisted at first, then handed over the items. She witnessed him fleeing in a burgundy-colored car. She attempted to follow him, but was unable to obtain a license plate number.

According to Jonesboro Sgt. Wayne Woods, they reviewed the security tapes from Best Buy and thought they had a suspect. After requesting to see additional tapes, they were informed that due to technical difficulties, the tapes were not viewable. As a result, they were unable to get any further information regarding a suspect. The Best Buy public relations department was unreachable for comment on Thursday.

In Atlanta, the hungry and homeless filled their stomachs and their spirits Thursday at the city's largest Thanksgiving dinner - which was expected to grow even larger this year with the attendance of thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

It was a happy day for Laura Kuik, who needed some good luck after having to leave New Orleans in September just four days after she moved to the city to “get away from a problem” in Texas.

“It was either stay there and get killed or leave,” said Kuik, 54, who is now living in a local shelter but hopes to find housing soon. “There's nothing left for me in Texas or New Orleans.”

Organizers with Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless expected at least 6,000 more people at Turner Field this year's event. The nonprofit agency, which also feeds people at Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Easter, serves about 18,000 meals at each dinner.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.