Man who flashed badge after accident arrested for impersonating an officer

Published 12:08 am 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.

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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.