Spartanburg County deputies said a man who publishes the popular weekly publication Jail Birds was arrested Friday, accused of impersonating a deputy.
David Bryant, 31, was arrested Friday morning after deputies said he claimed to work for the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office in the narcotics division while trying to get a free loaner phone from Verizon Wireless earlier in April.
Employees at the Verizon Wireless store said Bryant told them he worked for Jail Birds and the sheriff's office and was in need of a phone because he broke his after it fell in some water, according to a deputy's report.
The report stated Verizon gives out loaner phones to emergency services personnel. Bryant told employees he was working a nearby case along Cannons Campground Road and also warned them about $10 counterfeit bills in the area, deputies said.
The store eventually gave Bryant the phone fearing confrontation as he became forceful asking for the phone, according to the report. Store workers said they were unsure of Bryant's claims, so they notified deputies who confirmed he did not work for the sheriff's office, the report stated.
An employee recorded most of the conversation with Bryant, deputies said. The report said Bryant left with an iPhone 4 worth more than $400 and was later identified from a photo line-up.
Bryant was charged with larceny/securing property by fraudulent impersonation of an officer.
Lt. Tony Ivey with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said Bryant was Jail Birds' publisher and its website claims him as its principal.
According to the Jail Birds website, it is a weekly publication distributed in North and South Carolina depicting recent arrests, sex offenders, wanted persons and other types of information the publication receives from law enforcement. The publication is sold at Li'l Cricket, Kangaroo Mart, Hickory Point, Spinx and other local gas stations and convenience stores.
FOX Carolina has learned from an unaffiliated Greer-based arrest publication that Jail Birds has not been published since January.
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