Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Putnam Man Charged With Impersonating Officer

A Putnam County man, who was part of a volunteer civilian force which helps the sheriff's department, no longer has that job -- after he was charged with impersonating an officer. Authorities claim that 68-year-old James Rudy Van Hattum of Quinland Lake Road did so to avoid having to file a report on a traffic accident. According to reports, Van Hattum was involved in a wreck with another vehicle just off the square, near the sheriff's department offices.  He was reportedly wearing a cap that said "Sheriff's Department" and allegedly told the other driver that there was no need to report the accident because he was a detective and would take care of it.  The other driver initially agreed, but later reported the incident to Cookeville police, who began an investigation that led to the arrest of Van Hattum this week on charges of criminal impersonation, filing a false report, failure to report an accident and leaving the scene of an accident.  He'll be in court on the charges March 21st.