• Alleged police impersonator went AWOL from National Guard


    ATLANTA - There are new developments in the case of a man arrested and booked into jail for posing as a police officer.

    Police said 33-year-old Mathew Buddin also robbed pharmacies across metro Atlanta.

    The National Guard confirmed to Channel 2's Tony Thomas that Buddin was AWOL from his duties. Buddin allegedly held up a Walgreens two times in Duluth, plus several others across the area always demanding prescription pills.

    Off camera, friends tell Thomas that it’s a sudden departure from a man they knew as a good soldier in the National Guard.

    Pictures of Buddin in the National Guard show him training other soldiers in a leadership course. Officials say he was highly trained but the national guard confirms he had been AWOL from duty the past several months.

    Police now believe they know why he allegedly posed as an officer. He is now charged with four robberies in Gwinnett County and two more in Duluth.

    Police say they had leads on Buddin’s whereabouts from witness who were able to identify him.

    Police said Buddin pulled out a handgun on a clerk, pointed it at her, ordered her to give him the controlled substances then ordered her to the ground.

    Police captured Buddin after a short police chase Wednesday that ended near his mother’s home. He escaped a police standoff earlier in the week.

    Police say they really don’t know the end game in Buddin’s actions, but it appears that more agencies are building cases against him every day.

    Forsyth County and Lawrenceville police also have charges filed against Buddin and told Channel 2 that other agencies will likely be taking warrants as well.

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