Clayton County

Couple looking at Christmas lights say they were followed, boxed in by man claiming to be trooper

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A couple is sharing a frightening encounter where they say they were threatened and harassed while looking at houses and Christmas lights in a high-priced neighborhood.

They recorded video of part of the incident and that video is now in the hands of the Georgia State Patrol.

GSP is looking into whether a man impersonated one of its officers when he confronted the couple.

Meanwhile, the young couple told Channel 2′s Tom Jones the encounter could have turned out differently.

Kenisha Finch, who is black, says she constantly feels under threat.

“If it’s not the police, I’m worried about people like him,” she said.

Finch began recording the man who confronted her and her boyfriend, Matthew Gaylor, who is white, on Dec. 2 as they drove on Emerald Drive in the Lake Spivey community.

They say he and two other cars followed them, blocked them in and the man wanted to know why they were in his community.

On the video, you can hear Gaylor’s response.

“We’re looking at houses,” he said.

“You’re looking to buy a house here?” the man in the truck said.


They say the man then took their picture as they sat in their car.

The say a couple of other cars followed them and blocked them in.

Then the man in the truck began to question them some more.

“Where’s your tag on your car,” he asked.

“I don’t have one. I have an emissions and I got insurance,” Gaylor said in the video, adding his tag was in the mail.

Gaylor then addressed the man as officer, since he felt like this was a traffic stop. The man let him know who he was.

“I am an officer,” he said on the video.

“What’s your name and badge number,” Gaylor asked.

“Georgia State Patrol,” you hear the man say.

Later in the video you hear the man give the couple his badge number.

The couple said the man then threatened them.

“He said if you come through my neighborhood again without a tag, I’ll arrest you and your black thug and shoot you dead,” Gaylor said.

You do not hear that statement on the video.

Jones called Georgia State Patrol and a spokesman said they do not have an employee with the badge number the man gave.

The agency has opened an internal investigation saying it does not tolerate anyone impersonating one of its officers.

The couple wants the man prosecuted.

“I feel like he needs to be taken into custody. They need to see if he has done stuff like this before because I feel like he has,” Finch said.

The couple took down the man’s tag number. GSP has it and has the video.

The agency says it wants to get to the bottom of what happened.