Po­lice im­poster strikes again

Driver man­ages to thwart faux cop

The Covington News - - Local News - By Michelle Kim

A po­lice im­poster at­tempted to pull over yet an­other fe­male driver Wed­nes­day morn­ing in the fifth such re­ported in­ci­dent in New­ton County, ac­cord­ing to a New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in­ci­dent re­port.

The 38-year-old New­ton County res­i­dent was head­ing south on Salem Road around 4:30 a.m. driv­ing home from work when she no­ticed a black un­marked car with dark tinted win­dows parked on the side of the road by Canaan Bap­tist Church.

As she passed the car, it pulled onto the road be­hind her, fol­low­ing as she turned onto Ga. High­way 81, and re­port­edly turned on a blue light.

At the time, she was on the phone with her hus­band and men­tioned she was be­ing pulled over but didn’t know why.

“What made me puz­zled was I knew I wasn’t speed­ing and I had my seat­belt on,” she said. “If I hadn’t had on my seat­belt, maybe I would have stopped. But I knew I had on my seat­belt.”

The wo­man, who said she hadn’t known about pre­vi­ous re­ports of a po­lice im­poster in the area, said she kept driv­ing un­til she could get to a well-lit area and de­cided to call 911 in the mean­time to let them know she wasn’t try­ing to get away, but was sim­ply con­cerned for her safety as a fe­male driv­ing alone.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, her phone lost its con­nec­tion twice and she con­tin­ued driv­ing to Cov­ing­ton By­pass Road, where the black car flashed its blue lights again. When she was fi­nally able to speak with the dis­patch cen­ter, she learned there was no of­fi­cer, trooper or deputy on the road be­hind her.

“I just wanted to cry,” she said. “And I knew I wasn’t go­ing to stop.”

At that point the black car stopped fol­low­ing her and turned onto Lower River Road. Sher­riff’s deputies searched for the car but couldn’t find it, ac­cord­ing to the in­ci­dent re­port.

The fe­male driver said her son had seen a sim­i­lar look­ing car with a man dressed in black army pants and a vest in the park­ing lot of a Kroger’s be­fore the in­ci­dent. She said she later learned an­other wo­man at her doc­tor’s clinic had been fol­lowed by a sim­i­lar look­ing car.

NCSO In­ves­ti­ga­tor Sharon Ste­wart con­firmed there were sim­i­lar­i­ties in this re­cent re­port to the pre­vi­ous four in­ci­dents which oc­curred over the last four months.

In the past cases, the vic­tims were young or mid­dle-aged women who were stopped in the late af­ter­noon or early evening, mostly on the west­ern side of the county, by a black male driv­ing a dark­col­ored un­marked Ford Crown Vic­to­ria, the type of car used by many law en­force­ment agen­cies. He was re­port­edly de­scribed as be­ing “pro­fes­sional look­ing” with a gun belt, badge and bat­tle dress uni­form. He had al­legedly said in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments to three of the vic­tims and fon­dled the fourth.

In an ear­lier state­ment, Sher­riff Joe Nichols said the Sher­riff’s Of­fice and State Troop­ers do not per­form traf­fic stops in un­marked ve­hi­cles and ad­vised driv­ers with any sus­pi­cions to call 911, while con­tin­u­ing at a steady speed, to con­firm the pres­ence of a Sher­riff’s Deputy, State Trooper or city po­lice of­fi­cer.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dents can con­tact the New­ton County Sher­riff’s Of­fice at (678) 625-1400 or leave anony­mous tips at (678) 625-5007 and on­line at www.new­ton­sh­er­iff. ga.org.

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