A government compliance officer allegedly broke into a Martinez, Georgia home last week to “yell” at the female homeowner over tall grass in her front yard. Columbia County Code Compliance Officer Jimmy Vowell allegedly stood at the doorway of the Erica Masters’ bedroom and woke her to tell her to come outside and sign a violation notice. Masters reports that the public employee is a “big huge guy” and that he “scared” her when he shockingly appeared at the entrance to her bedroom, The Blaze reports.
“He yelled at me to wake me up, to let me know that I needed to come back outside and sign the violation notice. I could have been coming fresh out of the shower. I mean, if I’m not answering the door, maybe it’s because I can‘t hear you because I’m in the shower,” Masters told local News Channel 6 WJBF.
Masters recorded the entire incident and shared the video with the Sheriff’s Office when notified of the incident. County Environmental Compliance Manager Mike Anderson confirmed that his office is aware of the complaint and noted his office is investigating the alleged incident, News Channel 6 reports. Anderson also noted that compliance officers cannot enter a home without the owner’s permission. If a county compliance officer has probable cause, the employee must still be escorted by a law enforcement officer.
“I woke up, I didn’t have my glasses on or my contacts in and all I see is this big burly figure standing in my doorway. A big huge guy with a gray shirt. It scared the mess out of me,” Masters told the local news station. She noted she feels that her privacy was violated by the county.
Master also remarked that she has not yet decided if she is going to press formal charges against Vowell, but does insist he handled the violation notice improperly. She also noted that she is working on getting her lawnmower fixed and understands that her lawn needs mowed.