The below incidents are from Richmond Hill Police Department reports.
Two Richmond Hill Police Department officers were sent to Richmond Place shortly after 6 p.m. to check out a call of a suspicious van in the subdivision. While one officer talked to the complainant, the reporting officer “canvassed the neighborhood” and found the van.
“As I was pulling up behind the van I saw a mother and child exchange money for what appeared to be ice cream,” the officer wrote. “I then noticed the van’s brake lights were very dim and his tag decal was out of date.”
So, the officer conducted a traffic stop. “As I approached the driver’s door I noticed ice cream stickers on the side of the van, indicating what types of ice creams were for sale.”
The officer then spoke with the driver, who “advised that he is trying to sell some more ice cream before it gets dark.” The driver also said the brake lights were “probably dim due to the freezer he has running in the van,” the report said.
The driver gave the officer proof the van belonged to an ice cream company but was “not aware if he had proper licensing to sell in Richmond Hill,” the officer reported. “He was advised to find that information out.”
The man got a verbal warning for his brake lights and expired tag decal and he “left the city to do business elsewhere,” the report ended.
An RHPD officer was on I-95 around 1:30 a.m. when he spotted a white Jaguar heading north at “a high rate of speed” near mile marker 86. The officer also noted the driver had his bright headlights on and wasn’t dimming them for oncoming traffic.
The officer conducted a traffic stop near the 89 mile marker. And things got unusual.
“While talking with (the driver) he turned towards me and made the marking on his jacket clearly visible,” the officer reported. “The jacket was marked with a Federal Bureau of Prisons badge. When the driver opened his wallet to retrieve his license he turned the wallet towards me. Inside the wallet was a Federal Bureau of Prisons badge, under the badge was marked Federal Officer. I noticed the driver had a beard and ear rings.”
The officer ran a “criminal history” on the driver “and learned that he was charged with bribery of public officials in 2004,” the report said.
“Also in 2004 (the man) was charged with public official accepting a bribe by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. (He) was convicted of both offenses, both are felonies,” the report continued, and the officer noted he next asked the man to step out of his car.
“I asked if he would like an accuracy check of my radar and he said no,” the report said. “I asked (the man) if he was currently working as a Federal prison officer and he said yes. I asked how he could be working for the Federal prison system after being convicted of a bribery.”
The man gave different stories, the report said.
“(He) said that he received a pardon for his crime then changed history to say that he was trying to work out the charges.”
The officer then asked about the wallet and jacket and was told the man had kept them. He also told police he hadn’t worked since 2010 and was living on military retirement pay. He was arrested for impersonating a public official. The jacket and wallet were “dropped in the RHPD property locker as evidence,” the report ended.
Around 3: a.m. an officer was in the T/A Center parking lot when an old white car caught his attention. He ran the registration and it came back to a different make of car. “I sat back, for approximately 15 minutes, and observed the occupants walking in the T/A store one at a time. It sparked my interest, as I suspected possible thefts or canvassing for thefts to be occurring.”
The officer was then called away to act as backup on another call, but he came back and the car was still there. The officer pulled up beside the vehicle, got out and “observed three adults and two children asleep in the vehicle,” the report said.
The officer knocked on the window and the driver opened the door. The officer asked if everything was OK. The driver said they were fine, just catching some sleep.
“I asked about the tag on the vehicle,” the officer reported. “(The driver) claimed no knowledge of it. I obtained (her) identification and asked for her vehicle paperwork. (She) was unable to locate vehicle paperwork after several requests.”
A check through GCIC – the Georgia Crime Information Center – showed the woman was wanted in Texas, but not bad enough to have her extradited.
Discussion over the identity of some of the passengers followed, and eventually the officer learned an adult male – the driver’s father, apparently – was also wanted in Texas for several felony offenses, and the state said it wanted him back. He was arrested, but police didn’t charge anyone else.
A second officer then provided the family with “a pamphlet on available help agencies for assistance,” and they left the area and headed to Brunswick while the man was taken to jail.
Around 2 a.m. an officer spotted an SUV turn right off Laurel Street onto Highway 144. The SUV hit a curb, then later “made a wide sweeping right hand turn onto the on ramp of (I-95),” a report said. “The suspect vehicle crossed over the white4 fog line, with both driver side tires while proceeding up the ramp. As the vehicle transitioned (onto the interstate), both passenger side tires crossed over the white line dividing lane 1 and the shoulder of the road.”
The officer pulled the SUV over.
“The driver … seemingly cut off my introduction by stating he knew he ran over the curb because he dropped his phone,” the report said. “(He) was adamant about having to go pick up his girlfriend and her kids at (204) because she was reportedly broken down.”
The man’s speech was “extremely slurred, almost intelligible,” the report continued. “(He) was shaking heavily. I detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from (*the man), although very faint in nature. “
The officer asked for the man’s license “and he provided it accordingly. (He) automatically said it may not say that it is good, however, his layer set back the date and got it fixed. I was not sure how to take this bit of information. I asked (the man) to stay seated while I returned to my vehicle.”
The officer asked for backup, then ran a check on the driver, whose license was suspended. The officer went back and asked the driver to get out of the vehicle, and “it was clear he was very unsteady on his feet.”
The officer also spotted some prescription medication bottles “in plain view” in the driver’s seat, but let that go for a minute as he asked the driver to step to the rear of the SUV “worried that he might fall into oncoming traffic.”
Though the man said he had problems with his leg and foot that kept him from doing some field sobriety tests, he failed other portions of the test and was arrested. The man initially agreed to a blood test, but later changed his mind.
The officer then went and got the pill bottle, which was prescribed for the driver. It was for Subutex, and the prescription bottle had been made out Dec. 15 for 84 pills, but there were only “5-1/2 pills remaining,” the report said. “(The driver) stated, initially, that the pharmacist only had so many pills and owed him some pills. Obviously, that is not the way it works. (Driver) later stated that his family member stole his pills prior to this date.”
The officer then tried to help the man avoid having his SUV towed, and dialed number provided by the driver.
“After roughly thirty minutes, this request still could not be completed. During one call on speaker, I dailed a number and was going to let (the driver) speak when someone answered. Before three rings on the phone, (the driver) was seemingly passed out. (He) awoke a few minutes later and kept requesting me to call someone for him.”
Eventually, the officer called a wrecker. The pill bottle was returned to the driver, who was taken to RHPD, where he was cited with DUI, suspended license and failure to maintain his lane. He posted bond with the help of a bail bondsman.