The 11-year-old was arrested at an elementary school Tuesday around noon and the 15-year-old, accompanied by his guardians, turned himself in at Cobb County headquarters around 2 p.m. Wednesday, Cobb Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said. Both are being held in the Cobb Youth Detention Center, charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, burglary and violation of the Georgia gang act.
The boys are accused of beating Paul Smallwood with a rock in his home at the Crescent Square apartment complex on Austell Road near Pat Mell Road.
Smallwood's grandnephew, Ricky Scoggins, said Wednesday that his great-uncle was still in critical condition at WellStar Kennestone Hospital. Scoggins, an Acworth resident, earlier said his great-uncle lost the ability to talk on Sunday because he started bleeding from his brain.
"He's in a whole lot of pain," Scoggins earlier said of the World War II veteran. "He was very independent. They took that away from him. He took care of himself, but they took all of that away from him."
Scoggins said Smallwood was coming home from taking a friend to the doctor's office Friday, when the younger boy followed him into his apartment and told Smallwood that his car needed work and he knew a good mechanic.
While Smallwood was trying to usher the kid out of his apartment, the other boy made his way into the home and threw a rock at Smallwood's head, knocking him down, Scoggins said. Once he was on the ground, the boy smashed the rock on the side of Smallwood's head again, Scoggins said.
The attackers broke Smallwood's shoulder and hip and took his cell phone and wallet, which only had $27 in it, Scoggins said.
Pierce could not confirm whether the kids lived in the apartment complex, but said Wednesday they have been seen there on a number of occasions before the crime.
"It is because of the closeness of people that live in and around the complex that originally led police to interviewing one of the two involved in the crime," Pierce said. "As a result of that information, detectives followed up on the lead and arrested the 11-year-old at the school. It was important to us very early in this investigation to try and reassure people in that community that there was no one on the loose. We had a very good idea right from the onset, based off that tip, in what direction to go in."
Crescent Square resident Charlie Lawton said Monday that a lady who worked in the leasing office said Smallwood's attackers did not live in the complex.