Man convicted in justice court as law ‘impostor’
A Lincoln County man who allegedly impersonated law enforcementofficers an undetermined number of times since April 2000 hasauthorities worried about the safety of the public.
“It’s very dangerous when someone abuses the public’s trust,”said Lance Falvey, an investigator with the Lincoln CountySheriff’s Department.
On Dec. 1, of last year, authorities arrested Lemuel Ray Grice,36, of 1850 Hunters Road, Bogue Chitto, after finding evidence athis residence. There were no reported incidents while he was injail, said Falvey.
Grice was found guilty Wednesday in Lincoln County Justice Courtof impersonating an officer, fined $500 and sentenced to six monthsin jail. He immediately appealed the judge’s decision, and wasreleased from jail, pending his next hearing.
Falvey pointed out that similar incidents in other states thathave led to rape, robbery and even murder. He hopes to bringclosure to the matter before anything else happens.
Women who have been victims in the incidents told authoritiesthat Grice used ‘wig wags,’ which are a type of flashing lights,and a blue light attached to his 1980s model white Chevrolet Camaroto pull them over in the Enterprise and Ruth area.
“He followed women for a short distance, then waited until noone was around and pulled them over,” said Falvey, adding thatGrice would ask the drivers personal questions.
One of the women was able to determine the man was not anofficer and drove to a well-lit area when he turned on thelights.
“He did not follow, and that tipped her off that he was not apolice officer,” said Falvey, commending her smart thinking.
Falvey advises all drivers to follow that technique if they areunsure the person is a law enforcement officer.
“If there is any doubt, they should slow down, turn theirblinker or hazard lights on and slowly pull in to a well-lit area,”said Falvey.
Sometimes plain clothes officers in unmarked vehicles do maketraffic stops, but law enforcement officers are required to letdrivers know who they are upon approaching a vehicle if they arenot in uniform.
“We identify ourselves immediately, and if they ask forcredentials, we readily show those so there will be no doubt,”Falvey added.
Authorities believe many other drivers in Lincoln County couldhave also been victims of the scheme. If anyone believes they werepulled over by someone impersonating an officer, they should callthe sheriff’s department at 833-5231 or the Brookhaven PoliceDepartment at 833-2424.
“We need them to step forward so we can put an end to this,”said Falvey. “If anybody abuses the public’s trust, we want to goout and vigorously seek those people out.”