Man charged with impersonating police officer in Athens

Athens Police say David Dodson impersonated an officer, and used an airhorn on a driver earlier this week. (Images: Athens PD / MGN)


After our story was published, David Dodson reached out to NewsChannel 9.

He says the allegations were blown out of proportion, and he is completely innocent.


Police in Athens say a man faces charges of impersonating an officer, after they say the man pulled a woman over and tried to "punish her" for using her cellphone while driving.

And police say that David Dodson has been in trouble for this kind of behavior before.

Police say on Tuesday, Dodson used an airhorn at a woman at a red light at Decatur Pike and Dennis Street.

Police say Dodson got out of his vehicle and approached the woman, saying she violated the law by using her cellphone while driving.

Police say he asked her to meet him at the parking lot of the nearby Walmart where "he would take enforcement action."

But instead of following the man there, the woman called police. Officers met Dodson in the parking lot soon after.

Police say Dodson denied speaking with the woman, but investigators learned he had been in trouble for impersonating an officer before. They also found his truck was equipped with a siren box and various lights. He also had a generic "Security" badge, a radio with public safety channels, and handcuffs inside the truck with him.

Athens Police Chief Cliff Couch says, "People place a great deal of trust in their police department, and we take that very seriously. We don't want anyone out there to be able to misuse that trust for their own ends. All Athens Police officers are supposed to carry an APD badge and identification card with them, even if they aren't wearing a uniform. If anyone ever has doubts that they're dealing with a real police officer, they should ask to see their credentials. They should also remember that they can always call 911 if they feel uncomfortable or suspicious."

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