As we celebrate the start of a new year, an Atlanta family is mourning the death of their teen aged son.
Rueben Hand (pictured above) was on his way home after watching the Peach Drop with friends, but the high school freshman never made it to the train.
The teen was killed at the Five Points Marta Station 15 minutes after midnight on New Year’s morning.
Rueben and his friends were approached by a man who accused them of taking his cell phone. According to new reports, the man followed Rueben and his friends into the MARTA station and argued over the phone. The teen repeatedly told the man he didn’t have his cell phone, but still the man would not let up.
He began yelling and cursing at the teen and as Rueben walked away he stabbed him in the neck.
Diamante Drake, 18, was with Rueben when the stabbing happened. Drake said Rueben and another friend were about to hop on the Marta, when the man accused them of stealing his cell phone. Drake said after they told him they didn’t have his cell phone, words were exchanged.
“Rueben told him to stop following us and was cussing at him,” said Drake.That’s when the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed Rueben in the neck, said Drake.
“We tried to catch him and bring him to the police but he started swinging the knife at us. We seen little Rueben on the ground bleeding,” said Drake..
The killing took place on the Peachtree Street side of the train station, MARTA spokesman Lyle Harris told the AJC about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. MARTA released few details about the incident, which remained under investigation late Saturday.
“This is something that is going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Deunya Taylor, the victim’s mother. The mother wished she held her son, 14-year-old Rueben Hand, a little longer on New Year’s Eve.
Rueben’s mother got a phone call around 12:15 a.m. from one of her son’s friends telling her the news. Deunya Taylor didn’t even know her youngest child had gone downtown.
“Basically I didn’t let him go, just being honest, I didn’t even know he was downtown,” said Taylor.
Rueben, who attended Douglass High School, loved sports and played football as a child. Now is family hopes the person responsible comes forward to police.
“They have brought a tragedy to this family,” says Lena Barnes (Rueben’s Aunt). “He was the baby.”
Rueben’s mom wants the person who killed her youngest child to turn himself into police.
“I can forgive you, but I can’t forget, because that’s my baby and you took something away from me that I will never, never forget!” said Taylor.
There are no suspects and authorities are still investigating.
There also was a stabbing before midnight at Underground Atlanta, where more than 100,000 people gathered for the Peach Drop festivities. A fight broke out, and the victim was stabbed in the back, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital in stable condition. Eight people were arrested in connection with that fight, police said.
It’s so sad that such a positive event could turn so deadly.