Accused police impersonator says it's a misunderstanding
Story by Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter
DALTON, GA. (WRCB)-- A man arrested for impersonating a police officer in Dalton, Georgia says it's all a misunderstanding.
James Dale Smith was arrested when he turned on strobe lights, and tried to pull over an undercover detective.
"The only thing that I can say is this is big misunderstanding," says Smith.
James Smith says his police impersonation incident is not what it appeared to be.
He was arrested Tuesday night after police say he attempted to pull over a car near this intersection of Highway 41 and Shugart Road.
Smith says he flashed his lights because he thought the driver was going too fast.
After pulling up next to the car, he found out it was an undercover officer for Dalton Police.
"Anyone that knows me, knows that I never had any bad intentions," says Smith. "I have never portrayed myself as a law enforcement officer."
Smith works as a security guard and at the time of his arrest, police say he was wearing clothing similar to what officers wear, cargo pants, black boots and a dark polo.
He also had a Glock pistol in a holster on his belt, along with handcuffs.
His car, now in police impound, has all the makings of a police cruiser.
It's equipped with white strobe lights, a driver's door spotlight, and a computer console inside.
He says it's his mobile office and he maintains his innocence.
"Anyone that knows me knows that I would never do anything like that," says Smith.
Smith says now he has to wait until a judge can hear his side of the story to prove he had good intention.
He says since Tuesday, his life hasn't been anything but hectic.
"I have a clean driving record, and then this happened, and I feel like my life is ruined," says Smith.
Police say if you suspect anything illegal at any time, don't take the law into your own hands and always call an officer.
Smith says he will be notified of his court date.