Man caught impersonating police officer

CONYERS - A Newton County man was arrested last week for not being who he appeared to be.

Wilfredo William Ayala, 24, of 540 Creekview Blvd., Covington, was arrested by the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office for impersonating a police officer. He was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He remained in the Rockdale County Jail on Tuesday awaiting a bond hearing.

According to an incident report filed by RCSO Sgt. Tom Brewer, many deputies in the sheriff's office knew Ayala as "Billy" Ayala and believed he worked for the DeKalb County Police Department. Several RCSO deputies had seen Ayala over the past few months at Carmike Cinema on Dogwood Drive, often wearing tactical police gear, carrying a handgun and claiming to work on DeKalb's Tactical Response Team.

Brewer said in his report that Ayala appeared at the theater at other times in plain clothes and allegedly carried his gun under his shirt. Brewer noted it appeared that Ayala showed up at the theater just to hang out and talk to the deputies.

The investigation began when someone raised questions about Ayala's status as a police officer. Ayala reportedly worked at the Western Union office at the corner of Ga. Highway 138 and Old Salem Road. He also allegedly told deputies he worked on the tactical team at the Mall at Stonecrest and had worked security at the movie theater.

Brewer checked with DeKalb Police Department, and they confirmed no one named Ayala was on the tactical response team; however, there was a person with the name Ayala who worked at police headquarters. Brewer obtained a photograph of the officer, but it did not match the Ayala known to the deputies here, the report said.

Investigators searched through the RCSO computer database and found Wilfredo William Ayala had filed a report as a complainant in an earlier incident. Brewer then ran a criminal history check on Ayala, which showed he had been arrested in 2007 in DeKalb County for financial identity fraud. Ayala's booking photograph identified him as the person known to RCSO deputies as Billy Ayala, the report said.

Newton County authorities have been seeking a man who has made traffic stops and is impersonating a law enforcement officer, but Ayala's description does not match that suspect. The investigation into that case is continuing.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.