DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County sheriff was arrested Saturday night by the Atlanta Police Department on misdemeanor obstruction and public indecency charges, the Sheriff's Office said.
Sheriff Jeffrey Mann was arrested after he was stopped in Piedmont Park for allegedly breaking the law, police say.
[READ: Residents say sheriff’s arrest one more dark cloud on DeKalb County]
Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez obtained an initial police report that said an Atlanta police officer was patrolling the park on foot when he spotted a man in a lewd act around 11 p.m. Saturday.
The officer stated in the report that the suspect started walking in his direction while exposing himself.
"I allowed the male to get approximately 7 to 10 feet from me before I used my flashlight to shine it on the male. The male immediately fled on foot. I ran behind the male while yelling, ‘Police. Stop!’" the report said.
The officer said the suspect took off and he went after him. The chase went through the park and ended in a neighborhood along 9th Street, a quarter of a mile away. The officer then took the man into custody.
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The man allegedly asked the officer to speak with his supervisor, who he referenced by name.
When told that person wasn't the supervisor, he then asked to go to his car to get his ID but the officer told him no, for safety reasons.
The man was then taken to APD’s precinct in the CNN Center downtown where they identified the suspect as Mann.
Mann sent a news release directly to Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne, saying:
"DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey L. Mann was arrested last night, May 6, 2017, by the City of Atlanta Police Department on charges of indecency and obstruction. He's working with City of Atlanta to clear these charges."
Sheriff Mann: "i am part of law enforcement... appreciate APD & the job that they do." Arrest a misunderstanding. "Looking to clear my name" https://t.co/UomlUWWwHe— Mark Winne (@MarkWinneWSB) May 7, 2017
Mann was booked into the Atlanta city jail, and has since bonded out.
Channel 2's Rikki Klaus went to Mann's home Sunday, but no one answered the door.
Mann was arrested in front of Brad Edmond’s home.
“The man is definitely unfit for his office. He has betrayed everyone, including the people who look up to him and respect him. But, what a joke," Edmond told Klaus.
Mann’s attorney said Mann is a dedicated public servant whom he’s known for a long time. The attorney told Klaus he looks forward to representing Mann.
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Mann, a Democrat, defeated Harold Dennis, a Republican business owner, in the November election for sheriff.
Mann, an attorney who has worked in the Sheriff’s Office since 2001, was originally elected in a July 2014 special election against Vernon Jones. Mann was chief deputy under former Sheriff Thomas Brown and took over as sheriff earlier in 2014 after Brown resigned to run for Congress.
Mann overcame four Democratic opponents in the May primary election before facing Dennis in the general election.
Prior to Brown, every sheriff elected to a full term in DeKalb since 1965 had faced criminal charges.
Channel 2 Action News first told you about the breaking news via our WSB-TV news app. We'll continue to keep you updated as this story develops.
Cox Media Group