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Henry man charged with impersonating officer

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

A Stockbridge man is free on $5,000 bond, after being accused of passing himself off as a police officer and stalking a woman.

James Allen Gardner, 23, of Stockbridge, is charged with stalking, impersonating a police officer and disorderly conduct.

Gardner was arrested Tuesday, in connection with an incident which reportedly began with a call from the Waffle House on Country Club Drive in Stockbridge. A police report by Officer Lauren Reach states that a Waffle House salesperson notified authorities of a "disturbance" at the restaurant at 3:11 a.m.

Reach's report states that Gardner was at the restaurant, drinking coffee, and reportedly told the salesperson he was going to see the alleged victim in the case, a mutual acquaintance who works at Henry Medical Center.

"Gardner announced that he was going to [the alleged victim's] workplace to see her, whether she wanted to see him or not," the officer wrote.

The salesperson, according to the report, told Gardner the alleged victim did not want to see him, at which point Gardner reportedly "became agitated" and left without paying for his coffee.

The alleged victim, the report continues, sent Gardner a text message telling him she would notify security if he came to the hospital.

The report states that a security guard escorted the alleged victim to her vehicle as she was leaving from work and told Gardner to leave or he would call police.

The alleged victim "stated Gardner said, 'I am the police. You call them if you want to,'" the police report states.

Gardner appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court Tuesday, represented by the Public Defender's Office. Judge Robert Godwin bound the charges against him over to Henry County Superior Court.

A future hearing date in the case had not been set.