This really happened!

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Posted by ChuckC ( on February 16, 2001 at 09:56:43:

(30 miles from where I live and 240 miles south of the convention)

Here's some advice for fugitives: don't hitch a ride with a sheriff's deputy.

A trio of brash men wanted for arson in TIfton, Georga accepted a ride to the county line from Thomas County deputy Don Allen.

The men's car had broken down and Allen stopped to help. The three, who were from Ohio and Tennessee, told him they were headed to Panama City Beach, Florida and he offered a ride part of the way.

During the drive, Allen heard a "be-on-the-lookout" message on his car radio about three arson suspects, one with long, black hair.

"It's a good thing one of you hasn't got long hair," Allen said.

That's when one responded that he had just cut his hair, prompting Allen to draw his gun and pull off the road.

Police charged Jerrick Sumlin, 21 of Dayton, Ohio; Timothy Conatser, 19, of Centerville, Ohio; and Scott Rawlings, 21, of Gatlinburg, Tennessee with first-degree arson.

A TIfton woman told police she had let the men stay at her house for ten days, but they left Wednesday after she and Conatser had an argument.

"During the harsh words, these guys got angry and decided to set the house on fire," police detective Porter Jackson said. "They lit up and they left."

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