Sheriff’s Dept. investigates report of ‘suspicious’ man

Published 10:24 am Friday, May 9, 2014

A Carter County woman reported a suspicious man who came to her residence Tuesday evening and identified himself as a county official but refused to give his name.
According to police reports, a woman who resides in the Powder Branch community reported to Carter County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Myles Cook that she was at her home on Tuesday evening around 6:30 p.m. when she was approached by a man that claimed to be a Carter County Ordinance Officer.
“(The woman) stated that the man was dressed in a green shirt and pants, and was outfitted with a radio and gun belt,” Cook states in his report. “(The woman) stated that the man began to inform her that she was breaking various county ordinances.”
Cook states in his report that the woman reported to him that she became suspicious of the man’s story when she noticed that he was driving a silver colored Chevrolet car that did not have government tags.
The suspect was described as being a male between 6’2” and 6’4” in height and weighing approximately 275 pounds. The man has gray hair and appears to be in his late 50’s according to the woman’s statement to police. The woman stated that she was not familiar with the subject and that he was “very rude” in his encounter with her.
Carter County does not have an “Ordinance Officer” but there is a “Code Enforcement Officer” who works with the Planning Office but he does not match the description given by the woman who made the report.
Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes stated that residents should ask to see proper identification when they are approached by someone claiming to be a government official.
“Based on that report it is apparent we have someone misrepresenting themselves as a county official,” Mathes said. “Always ask for an ID and you can call 911 and ask for an officer to respond to identify them.
“It is perfectly acceptable to request to see an ID. If they are legitimate they will not mind providing identification.”
Mathes also stated that the normal hours which county business is conducted is 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for non-emergency personnel. He said the fact that the male subject approached the woman at 6:30 p.m. lends credence to the idea that he was not who he claimed to be.
“Somebody outside the normal business hours would be suspicious,” Mathes said. Additionally, Tuesday was a County holiday due to the Republican Primary Election and all county employees with the exception of law enforcement personnel had the day off as the business offices were closed.
Mathes stated that his office has not received any other complaints of a suspicious person claiming to be a county ordinance officer.

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