Man who flashed badge after accident arrested for impersonating an officer

Published 12:08am Friday, March 7, 2014

NATCHEZ — A Natchez man was arrested Tuesday for reportedly flashing a badge and impersonating an officer after he rear-ended a driver at Dairy Queen in October.

Natchez Police Lt. Craig Godbold said Joe Fortenberry, 65, 408 S. Pearl St., reportedly pulled out a badge claiming he was a sheriff’s deputy after he hit a vehicle while in the drive-through line on Oct. 9.

“Allegedly, Mr. Fortenberry pulled out a badge after the other driver got out to exchange insurance information and said that he was a sheriff’s deputy and that the driver of the (other) truck better go on his way,” Godbold said.

An Adams County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said Fortenberry was given an honorary deputy’s badge by a sheriff prior to Sheriff Chuck Mayfield taking office. Honorary deputies are not deputized and do not have the authority to arrest anyone.

Fortenberry was charged with impersonating an officer, a misdemeanor, and later released on a $726 bond.