Skip to comments.Code enforcement officer fired after entering woman's bedroom
Posted on 07/10/2012 10:44:31 AM PDT by rawhide
What would you do if you found a burly county agent in your bedroom, demanding that you cut your grass?
Erica Masters of Martinez in Columbia County,near Augusta,captured such an encounter recently on her home surveillance camera when code compliance officer Jimmy Vowell entered her bedroom to demand she come out to sign a summons.
"He let himself in and actually came through the house and into my bedroom and yelled at me to wake me up to let me know that I needed to come back outside and sign the violation notice," Masters told WJBF-TV News Channel 6 station in Augusta.
"I woke up, I didn't have my glasses on or my contacts in and all I see is this big burly figure standing in my doorway," she said. "A big huge guy with a grey shirt. It scared the mess out of me."
The video shows Vowell at the front door, then moments later walking slowly through the home and peering into rooms. Moments later Masters is seen nervously walking through the home.
Vowell, who first denied he'd entered Master's home, was fired Monday over the incident.
In a Facebook posting, Vowell said he called out to Masters several times before entering after he said he smelled something, according to the Columbia County News-Times.
"It was a violation of policy as it relates to entering a house without permission and making a false statement to a supervisor," Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson told the News-Times. If a code compliance officer found cause to enter a home, a law enforcement officer would have to accompany him or her, officials said.
Masters, who plans to sue, said she called 911 after the incident but the operator did not alert the authorities after she found out Vowell was a compliance officer.
(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...
lucky he only got fired, didn’t take a load of buckshot to the chest. Idiot.
Makes you wonder how many times he has done this before where the homeowner DIDN’T have camera’s - without the video it would have been his word against hers.....
I suspect alcohol was involved. Beefy fellow looks like he enjoys his beer. Probably a six-pack per day habit.
A commenter on one news website said that a roommate left the door unlocked. Of course, the fired man’s stepdaughter commented that we don’t know the inside story of what REALLY happened.
Kind of like when the cop claims the motorist “resisted” or became “belligerent” and the cop “had to use force to subdue them.” Then it turns out that the cop’s car camera “malfunctioned” and there is no tape of the incident.
Only when YOU capture it on camera does it actually show up. You can only count on government cameras working to capture Joe Citizen’s wrongdoings.
I’m going to go out on a limb here....
But I’m guessing he was union.
We have the video, so we know what really happened. What else could she been alluding to?
>>What would you do if you found a burly county agent in your bedroom, demanding that you cut your grass?
You stole my answer!
He is as wide as the hallway.
“It was a violation of policy as it relates to entering a house without permission”
Not to mention criminal trespass.
Why is he not dead?...............
I guess she was tired of not getting anything good on her surveillance camera, so she increased the odds of walk-ins.
If that didn't work, her next plan was a sign that said, "No dogs, no guns, no locks."
I can’t think of a lower form of life than code enforcement agents. meter maids may not have evolved far from the primeval slime, but code enforcement agents devolved from it.
Reminds me of the BTK serial killer, who got a job as a compliance officer, and then used that position of power over others to get his kicks.
Government agents don't have to follow the LAWS that we do. They only have to follow "departmental guidelines and policies." That's why police can almost always get away with murder when if you or I did the same action we'd be in jail for 20 years.
His buddies need to be sent a message.
Sure you can.
All of these scum have a god complex and love nothing more than to "lord" over the great unwashed.
"Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson...says Vowell use to work at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
"In 2004, he resigned from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office after he admitted that he took a computer from the property room."
The poor woman is planning on moving out. I can't say that I blame her. It's not like she could get any help. 911 basically refused to intervene. If she hadn't had those cameras, this creep would have skated away scot-free...and she would have been open to reprisals. She probabaly still is, anyway.
There's a flamewar at the Augusta Chronicle. Some folks apparently feel that his former LEO status entitled him to "check up on her". One knucklehead even presents a detail not found in ANY online story "she had mail stacked up". Either that poster is the erstwhile Mr. Vowell himself, or someone very close to the situation.
Damn straight. If a big man wakes me up, I shoot first and sleep with Mr colt under the pillow.
He'd make a good poster boy for pension reform.
This lying fat slob was casing the house to see what he could steal and was surprised to find the lady at home. This is probably not the first time he did this.
I keep a loaded gun within reach in bed and I would have blown his head off. Then I would go after the cops that violated my right to protect myself. Next would be the judge if it got that far. CWII is near.
I stand corrected. I was thinking of local government types.
Kind of redundant description isn't it. He's apparently one of the 90% that give the other 10% a bad name.
He walked nervously through the house, and he smelled something?
Not retired...forced to resign. A real peice of work.
I'm pretty sure Dogzilla wouldn't have let him past the front door...
lol...the trick is to NOT GET CAUGHT...he was so dumb he got caught by people who were likely looking the other way as hard as they could. Epic fail.
And you better have instant offsite backup, as well,
or your video capture media will “malfunction” as well.
If he was union he would be suspended (forever) WITH pay. On the other hand, I suppose he could have been fired and will enjoy a pension amounting to 100% of his normal pay.
“...Why is he not dead?...............”
The lady either didn’t have a gun or couldn’t get her gun.
Yes, I just saw that. A real piece of work indeed.
Amen to that!
She needs more range time or a big doberman.............
That's a good question. She did say something along the lines of "What if you smelled something really bad, thinking someone had died, and the door flung open?" I think she's just trying to stand up for her stepfather, but it doesn't make sense. The video clearly shows him opening the door.
The only other explanation I can think of is that she could have yelled from the bedroom for him to come in. But if that were the case, wouldn't the code compliance guy have just given that explanation?
Sounds like what gets posted here whenever there's a cock-up by police.
Rawhide, why should she have to lock her door?
Though few believe it, there are many parts of the US where people still leave their doors unlocked, especially during the day.
It is common among the elderly and invalid as well, as seconds can count if they have a bad fall or otherwise need help.
One rather crafty older lady I used to know had reason to be concerned about this and other things, so she came up with a brilliant solution. She had a continual “tea party” going on, where everyone in the neighborhood was encouraged to drop in from 8am to 8pm. Women, men and children all knew they could stop by her house for coffee, tea, soft drinks, snacks, video games and chat.
They all knew each other, and knew her relatives, so any stranger near her house would be spotted quickly.
As an interesting epilogue, after talking about it with her next door neighbors for a long time, when she passed away, once her family had taken or sold her stuff, she set aside money for her house to be torn down, and the lot landscaped and kept tidy, to make a small park for her block, with tables, fruit and shade trees.
That's true where I live. Many folks here don't lock their doors. My Father-in-law says he lost his house key back around 1973. Doesn't matter, because he never used it anyway. He even went so far as to remove his keyed ignition from his truck and replace it with a push button start so that he doesn't have to use a key to start it.
DING! DING! DING! Winner!
While my 115 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback is telling gubmint flunkie he doesn’t particularly like strangers in his house I will be grabbing Mossberg 930 SPX loaded with 8 rounds of 00 buckshot and probably sending a load his way. Thankfully Florida would back me up.
Because this ain't your father's USA anymore. Mayberry USA is long gone and all the wishful thinking in the world can't bring it back. A lock doesn't really keep anyone out, but it slows them down and forces all but the most skillful to make a lot of noise defeating it. The delay may you time to gather your wits, retrieve a weapon and take up a protected firing position.
The elderly should be locked up tight at all times. They are frequently targeted precisely because they are assumed to have accumulations of drugs and valuables and aren't likely to be able to defend themselves. The time that a lock buys is even more precious for an older person who may have sensory or mobility issues.
“Masters...said she called 911 after the incident but the operator did not alert the authorities after she found out Vowell was a compliance officer.”
The 911 dispatcher needs to be fired, too.
The 911 Dispatcher[s] is/are part of the system. If you believe that are there to look after your interests and safety, you got another think coming.