‘Justice for Dawson’: Protest in Downtown Canton Continue Over Mentally Disabled Adolescent

Staff Writer: Ramon Elortondo 

In Canton Georgia, family, friends and neighbors lined up the streets in downtown to protest and yell “Justice for Dawson!” outside the courthouse. They were there to speak against the month-long incarceration of a special needs teen.  

Dawson Crowe, as told by his family is 18 years old, said to have an IQ of 52 and has a mental maturity that of a 10-year-old. Although he has the disability, family and friends describe Dawson as nice, caring and a people pleaser and means no harm to anyone.  

I asked students around the school how they felt about the case and if they thought Dawson was treated fairly. Reagan Gilbert, a Woodstock junior said, “It makes my heart sad that someone like this is being treated like this. Clearly everyone who knows him knows he means no harm and he would never do anything like this. For him to be in Jail away from all his family and close friends breaks my heart. I can’t imagine how hard this is for them.” 

Tempers flared when an 18-year-old boy was incarcerated in the Cherokee Country Adult Detention Center. Crowe stayed there without bond since September 14  after he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and elder abuse against his 78-year-old uncle which family say was really an attempt to rescue his uncle. 


Dawson Crowe, pictured above, is set to be incarcerated for a month. Family and friends were in tears over the decision made by court and took the streets to voice their opinion. Photo credit: Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News. Gathered by Armando Carrillo. 

Crowe has a sister who is 22 years old and she was there for the protest. Caitlin Chandler of Canton said her brother is incarcerated under false accusations because extended family believe he poured hot grease on his also mentally challenged uncle, Curtis Sykes back in July. She said her brother was outside playing when he heard his uncle screaming in the bathroom at home and found him submerged in boiling hot water. She also claimed that her little brother was the only one at the house when the accident happened, and that is why Dawson is the one being blamed. All her little brother was trying to do was help his burning uncle. He meant no harm.  

 dawson crowe sister

Kayla Holder, 34, was at the protest along with many others. She said she’s known Dawson since he was seven. Holder said she brought her daughter along because her and Crowe used to play with dolls together and she misses her friend. Photo credit: Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News. Gathered by Armando Carrillo.  

“They’re under the impression that the story that my brother said about finding him in the bathtub, they think that that’s completely fabricated and that’s not what happened,” she said. “They think that the burns don’t look like submerged in water burns, they look more similar to grease he burns.”  

Curtis Skye. Crowe’s uncle, had his brother call the Cherokee county police department to report the incident. Skye’s brother along with another relative of his claimed Crowe had poured hot grease on his uncle, according to a police report. 

“If what is being said is true and he didn’t do anything to his uncle, what type of person does that. Especially to someone like that.” Said Avery Lagomarsino, a Woodstock junior who felt anger when speaking about how such a thing could happen. 

The streets of downtown Canton were crowded with protesters. Some were family, others were friends and even neighbors that knew this could not be true. They’ve known little Dawson since he was a little kid and he was never violent. Hopefully justice is brought and the Dawson family get their child back. 










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