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3 arrested in 'grill teeth' attack

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A Riverdale woman and her two teenage sons were arrested on allegations they attacked a 17-year-old in a dispute over a missing "gold grill."

Brandon Lawson, 17, was spending Sunday night with the 14- and 16-year-olds in Willonia Lynn Vitto's home at 406 Roxbury Drive, in Riverdale, according to the Clayton County police. Lawson said everything was fine until the older brother's "grill teeth came up missing."

The 16-year-old accused Lawson of taking the $200 teeth and Lawson left the house, but was then, he alleges, chased down, beaten up and robbed.

Lawson reportedly told police he was walking down the street when Vitto came speeding down the road in her white, Chevy Tahoe. The two boys, and two unknown men, got out of the car, according to Lawson, and attacked him. They beat him badly, took his shoes and his shirt, and he ran away down Sunset Circle, yelling for someone to help him.

Vitto chased him, in the Tahoe, he said, allegedly trying to run him over. Lawson ran into the yards on the street, and tried to hide behind some trees. The Tahoe swerved to the curb, according to a witness, who said someone in the passenger's seat yelled, "If you help him, I'll shoot you."

The witness called police. Officer T. Griffin met with Lawson, near the intersection of Sunrise Circle and Oldenburg Road, and took the shirtless and shoeless 17-year-old's written statement.

At the Roxbury Drive address, the two brothers and their mother told police a different story, according to Griffin's report.

Both boys, who weren't named in the police report, said when the 16-year-old noticed his grill was gone, Lawson got nervous and shaky. The older brother asked Lawson about the missing teeth, and then the 17-year-old left.

Vitto drove the brothers to find Lawson, the brothers told police, and then the 16-year-old fought with Lawson, suspecting him of stealing the teeth. While his younger brother watched, he asked for a "fair fight" and then "whopped" him, the boy told police.

Vitto agreed with that account. She told police she took her son to confront Lawson, and they got into a fight. Asked if she tried to run the 17-year-old down with her Tahoe, Vitto reportedly said, "[Expletive] no. What I look like -- trying to run over a little boy for some $200 [expletive] gold teeth."

The officer wrote, in his report, that Vitto and her sons' stories were contradicted by the witness, and Lawson's story was supported by his injuries, and his missing shirt and shoes. Vitto was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, and the two teens were sent to the juvenile detention center.