Man accused of posing as an officer shares his side of the story

By Lee Peck

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MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) – A man charged with officer impersonation and extortion – wants to clear things up – on what he says really happened.

“I would never impersonate Prichard…I don’t even like Prichard’s police department,” Byron Thomas said.

Bonding out on Saturday night – Byron Thomas, 38, spent six days in the Metropolitan Jail – charged with impersonating a peace officer, kidnapping and extortion. He tells us they got it wrong – and says he watched the game – because he owns his own security company and is a licensed fugitive recovery agent/bounty hunter – even showing us his references.

“This is my fugitive recovery agent license right here…I’m licensed by the State of Alabama. The gun I had on me – here’s my gun license with the county sheriff’s department from Mobile. I’m fired for everything,” Thomas said.

He says his old Ford Explorer sheriff’s cruiser — not bought at auction, but from a dealership — and the lights on it — used during his security work. This is where – according to Thomas – it all started when he worked security at the Chevron station on St. Stephens Road and Wolf Ridge Road.

Thomas says he had a car that he gave to a friend, who needed a vehicle. He says it was worth $8,300 and the two had worked out a weekly payment plan. According to Thomas – last Friday – the woman’s boyfriend chased her from her apartment complex to the gas station in his Ford F-150 and nearly hit a few people in the parking lot – before hitting the vehicle of the woman – driving her off onto the pavement where she was boned by two vehicles.

Thomas claims he doesn’t know the man – but later found out where he was living – and confronted him last Sunday.

“He totaled my vehicle – so I’m trying to talk to him man to man – like man you have to pay for my vehicle because I paid cash for this vehicle. Like out of pocket – pure money, no funding – nothing. And just try to talk to him man-to-man. So he backed off – I’m not going to pay you anything and he slammed me. I’m a recovery agent on the run. Nobody rats me out – I don’t care who you are… It’s not gonna happen. That’s when I put the handcuffs on her, it was to protect myself,” Thomas said.

Thomas then admits to putting the man in his vehicle and driving around the block – while on the phone with the man’s daughter – who Thomas said said they would pay the money owed.

“We only walked around the block for about 45 seconds. It wasn’t to hurt her… Like just to scare her as a man – I can have serious charges against you because of what you did… Like pay me my money and I’m gonna let it all go. Thomas explained.

Prichard police didn’t see it that way. Thomas is the one who now faces “serious charges” – even losing all his licenses – for essentially shutting down his security operation.

Lee: “So you regret doing that? -Thomas: No, I don’t. No way. I just want them to know that I’m after Prichard. I’m also going after the guy who did this to my vehicle… Like I said — I have videos of everything. I have proof of everything. I have testimonials from people. I’ll see you all in court – just know that.

Thomas’ next court date is September 21.

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