Dalton stylist to Sheriff; 'I hustle hair, not dope'
DALTON, WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -- Braiding or weaving, trimming or teasing, Venus Rice has been building a reputation in Dalton, Georgia for eleven years.
"I'm a great hair stylist, and a good friend," she says.
But what she heard from one friend last Friday is enough to curl anybody's hair.
"She told me I was on Whitfield County's Most Wanted, the sheriff's website. That's when I found and seen it myself," says Rice.
Sheriff's Detectives tell Eyewitness News that they can't comment on open investigations. Rice says one deputy told her that investigators had a woman who called herself Venus, on surveillance tape, selling marijuana to an undercover officer.
"The appropriate thing to do would be to have arrested that person on sight," Rice says. "Not go back to your office and start looking for a Venus Rice."
Her frustrations grew Monday, when Dalton's television station, WDNN, included her mug shot in the Most Wanted segment of its newscast.
The taped newscast aired at least three more times, according to WDNN General Manager Calvin Means. The broadcast remained on-line, among WDNN's archived newscasts, Tuesday night.
Rice maintains that investigators obtained her mug shot from her arrest six years ago for driving on expired license plates and presenting no proof of insurance. Georgia's Department of Corrections shows no criminal record for a Venus Rice, nor for a Venus Burse, her married name.
"My mother made me stand on my name," Rice says. "And that's what I'm standing' on. I hustle hair! not dope!"
Rice tells Eyewitness News she believes that the 'Venus' detectives want to catch is a former customer of hers. She even has told them where they might find her.
The Sheriff's Office has removed Rice's mug shot from its website. But her name, and the warrant, remain. Detectives say Rice can resolve the matter only by turning herself in, and discussing it.
Rice refuses to do so, unless her lawyer accompanies her.
"Whitfield County can make this right, but they need to find the right person, match me up with the video they have, take me down off that crap, and let me print a retraction," she says. "And I' m gonna need a whole lot more than an apology."