Man arrested after impersonating parking attendant, firing pellet gun, police say

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Police arrested a 73-year-old man they say  impersonated a parking attendant and fired a pellet gun at someone who refused to pay.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings is in Marietta, where police said the victim tried to walk by the bogus attendant when he pulled out the pellet gun just before noon Aug. 24.

Police said the man was trying to charge people $5 to park in a lot behind a bar in Marietta Square. People normally pay by placing money in a box.

Jennings talked to Joe Lyle, the man who really is in charge of the parking lot behind Stonebridge Church and Johnny MacCracken's Pub.

Lyle said he knows Ligon Durham, the man police say was pretending to be a parking attendant.

"We take care of some homeless people, and Ligon is one of those people we take care of, so we've known him a long time," Lyle said.


Police said Durham had no authority to collect money from anyone who parked in the lot. They said on the morning of Aug. 24, police were called to investigate after Durham fired his pellet gun as a bar customer walked past.

"He was asking those individuals with a gun in his hand for $5 to park in the parking lot," police said.

"It doesn't seem like something Ligon would typically do," Lyle said. "I've never known Ligon to be violent in any manner."

Police said Durham said he didn't intend to fire the gun.

"The suspect's version is he was putting a new Co2 cartridge in the gun and was just testing it," police said.

According to a police report, Durham then told the police officer he had to pay up.

"I knew there would be times he would see people out here, and he would be here, and he would ask them to put money in that box," Lyle said. "I knew he would do that. But I had no idea he was taking money from people."

Police found $45 cash in Durham's pocket.