Quick action by the night clerk at the Sleep Inn at 1901 Rockland Road in Columbia led to the arrest of a 29-year-old Columbia man who, while pretending to be a military policeman, tried to get two female motel guests to leave with him against their will.
Timothy Maurice Vaughn was wearing a U.S. Army combat uniform and presented a star-shaped badge when he approached the clerk looking for two women staying at the motel, Lexington Sheriff A. Lewis McCarty said in a news release.
Vaughn allegedly told the clerk that he was an agent with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. The clerk refused to provide the women’s room number but Vaughn was not deterred. He went looking for the two motel guests, and eventually found them in their room.
But as Vaughn was looking for the 23-year-old and 26-year-old guests, the clerk called the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
The women, who feared they were going to be arrested or physically harmed, were preparing to leave with Vaughn who had handcuffed the younger woman, when deputies arrived on scene. After an investigation, Vaughn was taken into custody.
Vaughn has been charged with impersonating a police officer and kidnapping.
Sheriff McCarty said an investigating continues into why Vaughn was looking for these two women and what he wanted to do to them if he had succeeded in removing them from the motel.
McCarty said anyone with information about any criminal activities by Vaughn should call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.