By Jean Cole
A Mississippi man told a boy he was a police officer investigating drug activity before forcing his way into a local motel room, binding the boy’s hands and feet, and stealing a TV, game console and other electronics, an Athens police captain said today.
Detectives went to Jackson, Miss., Thursday to arrest Michael Lee Slaughter, 38, of Brookville, on charges of impersonating a peace officer, first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery, Capt. Trevor Harris said.
The arrest warrants were obtained after officers responded to a July 27 incident at the Mark Motel on U.S. Hwy 31 in Athens.
“A teenager staying in one of the motel rooms told officers he answered the door to find a man who was asking for “Jerry,” Harris said. “The juvenile (who was alone at the time) told the offender he had the wrong room and shut the door. The offender returned a few minutes later and identified himself as law enforcement as he pushed his way into the room.”
The offender stated he was investigating drug activity and waved a sheet of paper he claimed was a search warrant, Harris said.
“Once inside the room, the offender bound the boy’s hands and feet, then stole a TV, game console and other electronics,” Harris said. “During the burglary, the boy was able to free himself. This time, the offender pointed a knife at the victim and threatened to kill him if he tried anything else. After the robbery, the man loaded a blue or gray Pontiac G6 and sped away.”
Officer Randy Vickers went to area businesses and was able to locate the vehicle on surveillance video.
Detective Eric White developed Michael Slaughter as a suspect after recalling an email describing a similar incident in Decatur. Decatur police had already obtained warrants for Slaughter for the crime in their jurisdiction, and provided valuable assistance with this investigation, Harris said.
“The victim picked Slaughter from a photo lineup and positively identified him as the man who claimed to be an officer with a search warrant and the man who brandished the knife while stealing his property,” Harris said.
Slaughter was captured at a motel in Jackson, Miss., on Aug. 5 with the help of U.S. Marshals, Harris said.
He is being held in the Limestone County Jail, with bail set at $32,000, records show.