JONESBORO — A Hampton man who told police in May he thwarted a sniper pointing a rifle at a packed school bus has reportedly confessed to making up the story in order to be a hero and collect a reward.
Codarrius Brewer, 20, was arrested late Friday night on misdemeanor charges of false report of a crime and obstruction of a police officer. He made his first appearance in Clayton County Magistrate Court Saturday, posted bond and has been released from jail.
According to warrants issued to police, Brewer told detectives he wanted to make it appear he was a hero and to receive a reward from the governor.
The report of a sniper targeting children sent the Clayton community into a tailspin in the last few weeks of the 2011-2012 school year. Police officers escorted busses through neighborhoods and some parents pulled their children off them altogether and drove them to school.
State Court Solicitor General Tasha Mosley said she may seek reimbursement for “wasted resources” expended in the wake of the alleged false report.
The arrest was good news to Clayton County school officials preparing for the first day of classes Aug. 13. Superintendent Dr. Edmond Heatley said he appreciated the work by Clayton County police officers.
“We will all breathe a little easier knowing our students and employees are safe as the first day of school approaches,” said Heatley. “We want to especially thank Chief Greg Porter and his officers who took this matter so seriously and dedicated themselves to protecting our students and apprehending those who were allegedly involved.”
Police spokesman Lt. Chris Windley agreed and also thanked the community for its support.
“The Clayton County Police Department would like to thank the citizens of Clayton County
for their efforts in assisting in this arrest,” said Windley. “This shows that the partnership with the citizens and the police department is vital. With this arrest, it will ease the minds of the parents as
they prepare for the upcoming school year.”
In May, Brewer reportedly told police an unknown male sniper pointed a scoped rifle at a school bus with students on board near his Hyde Court home. Brewer allegedly told officers he chased the man, who fired at him before dropping the weapon.
However, warrants allege Brewer planted the rifle before calling police. Although he told police a relative was with him during the alleged incident, Windley said Monday there was no new information on additional charges or arrests.
Other law enforcement documents show Brewer was listed as a witness to a fire in 2010 and to an arson in 2011.
Mosley said Monday Brewer faces up to two years in prison and a maximum $2,000 fine if convicted on both charges. After a thorough investigation of the costs involved, Mosley said she may also ask for reimbursement.
“I will make contact with the police department and the sheriff’s office in the amount of money the county spent that was unnecessary,” she said. “His actions pulled resources off the streets, sending police officers on a wild goose chase when those babies were not in danger. He wasted valuable resources and I will be asking the judge for that amount. I think that’s only fair.”
She also scoffed at Brewer’s assertion he was trying to be a hero.
“All that was unnecessary, just to get attention,” said Mosley. “I can think of other ways to be a hero. He can join the Army or the Marines, or police officers, people who put their lives in danger, they are the true heroes.”
Brewer couldn’t be reached at home Monday afternoon. He is being represented by the court-appointed law firm Lister and Holt in Jonesboro. No one from that office returned a call Monday seeking more information.