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December 27, 2014

Police: Man impersonates officer, tries to arrest mayor

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Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 4:10 pm | Updated: 4:18 pm, Tue Jun 10, 2014.

Weaver police Tuesday said they arrested a man after he allegedly showed up armed at City Hall, demanding to arrest Mayor Wayne Willis.

Bobby Beck, 59, was being held at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday afternoon on felony charges of impersonating a peace officer, making a terrorist threat and carrying a pistol without a permit.

According to a press release from Weaver police Chief Wayne Bush, Beck walked into City Hall Tuesday morning with a badge and a pistol on his belt and said he’d like to speak with the mayor. After being told the mayor was not available, he held up a pair of handcuffs and said he would be back later to arrest him.

Bush said the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office assisted Weaver police in identifying Beck through a camera at City Hall and a witness who reported Beck’s license plate number. Police obtained a warrant to search Beck’s residence on Weatherbrook Lane in Anniston and found the pistol, handcuffs and a security badge. Bush said Beck claimed to work for the FBI and planned on arresting Willis for working part-time as mayor. Beck told police it was illegal for a mayor in Alabama not to work full-time.

Bush said Beck did not know Wayne Willis.

Willis said Tuesday afternoon he did not know Beck. The mayor said that when he was alerted a man wanted to arrest him, he initially thought it might have been part of a charity gag in which a friend would have him arrested for a joke offense. Willis said he also thought it might have been a friend playing a prank.

“Then Wayne (Bush) showed me the video, and I realized I didn’t know who he was,” Willis said. “I knew then it was serious.”

Willis said police learned while questioning Beck that the Anniston man planned on shooting the mayor if he did not come along with him. Willis said Beck wouldn’t tell police where he planned on taking him.

Willis said the incident has highlighted a concern about safety at City Hall, and he plans to address the matter with his staff this week.

“Even in small town America, we have to worry about these concerns,” Willis said. “I’m not so much worried about my own safety, but for the safety of my employees.”

Bush said a mental health officer with the Sheriff’s Office had been assigned to the case.

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