Decatur police arrested a man for impersonating a peace officer.
Police said they responded to a 911 call on March 27th at 11 a.m. about a domestic disturbance on 6th Avenue and Gordon Drive SE. While investigating, they learned a civilian stopped Cheston Jared Campbell while he was assaulting a female. Campbell told the civilian he was a state trooper and showed him a state trooper’s badge, according to Decatur police.
State Trooper Curtis Summerville said the state trooper badge Campbell used was not an original. He said it was a replica of an old state trooper badge they stopped using in 2015.
An off-duty Decatur police officer also witnessed the assault and intervened. Police said Campbell showed the off-duty officer the badge as well.
According to Decatur police, the investigation showed Campbell was not a State Trooper and did not have police credentials. Campbell was arrested and charged with impersonating a peace officer. He was booked into the Morgan County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
WAAY 31 talked with folks who live near where the alleged assault happened.
“It’s bothersome because I walk in the neighborhood a lot," said Tina Langdon. "It’s going to make me pay attention and not walk so much.”
That was Tina Langdon’s reaction after hearing a man is accused of assaulting a woman in her neighborhood park.
“That’s terrifying," Langdon said. "And it’s not just me at home. I have a teenage daughter, too, so I try to be extra vigilant just for her.”
But the story escalates from there. Police say when a good Samaritan tried to stop Campbell from hurting the woman, he pulled out a state trooper’s badge and pretended to be a law enforcement officer.
Then he showed it to an off-duty cop who realized Campbell was no trooper at all.
“I think it’s incredibly deceitful. I think it’s hurtful to take advantage of somebody in that way," Travis Roop said. "If he’s behind bars, then that’s where he needs to be.”
Travis Roop also lives near the park and goes there to run often. He says he’s never seen any signs of violence or crime, and he hopes it stays that way.
“You look across the street and there’s a little kid and his mom is with him. You’ve got parents out here with their kids, just enjoying themselves," Roop said. "We don’t need that garbage out here.”
In the meantime, neighbors say they will be keeping a closer eye on things.
“Make sure my doors are locked," Langdon said. "Make sure I pay attention when I take my dogs out for a walk and things like that. I probably won’t do it by myself anymore.”
According to court records, Campbell pleaded guilty to assault charges in 2006 and 2007 and a hindering prosecution charge in 2006.