An Albany man was arrested Wednesday, April 11 and faces felony-level charges after he allegedly impersonated a law enforcement officer last Sunday, April 8, at Lake Alma State Park near Wellston in Vinton County.
According to Vinton County Sheriff Shawn Justice, Joshua D. Byers, 22, of Albany in Athens County was arrested and taken into custody Wednesday during a traffic stop by the Perry County Sheriff's Office on a warrant issued by the Vinton County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Justice reports that the Vinton County Sheriff's Office received a call last Sunday regarding a man using red and blue lights in order to pull over a vehicle at Lake Alma State Park. The caller advised the man had a badge, a radio and handcuffs in his possession. The suspect then got the driver out of the vehicle, and after a short conversation, he allowed the driver and other occupants in the stopped vehicle to leave.
During the investigation into this complaint, Byers was identified as a "person of interest." It was later found Byers was a registered sex offender from Meigs County and that he had been living in Vinton County. Vinton County Deputy Michelle Thomas met with Vinton County Prosecuting Attorney Trecia Kimes-Brown on the matter and a warrant was issued for Byers' arrest.
After the traffic stop and arrest, the Perry County Sheriff's Office turned over Byers to the custody of the Vinton County Sheriff's Office. He was jailed at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender. Sheriff Justice advises that possible additional charges of kidnapping and impersonating a police officer will be reviewed by the Vinton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Sheriff Justice and Deputy Thomas would like to publicly thank the Vinton County Prosecuting Attorney and Perry County Sheriff's Office for their help in this investigation.