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 dark-colored 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.