According to a Jefferson County Sheriff's press release issued on Aug. 16, 2013, their department issued a warrant this date for the arrest of one Larry Matthew Pitt, 30, charged with impersonating a peace officer. Jefferson County covers the largest portion of Birmingham, Alabama, than any county.
This was the culmination of an investigation being conducted by the Sheriff's Office which was begun in June, 2013. At approximately 6:00 p.m. on June 15, 2013, Deputies responded to a call in the 5200 block of Falling Creek Lane to investigate the report of a man impersonating a law enforcement officer. It was reported a suspicious vehicle was sitting in front of the residence about two hours earlier and the resident had seen people going back and forth between the vehicle and a nearby wooded area.
The resident reported that he went to investigate and discovered a rifle hidden at the edge of the woods. The people he had seen were nowhere around the rifle. He then called the Sheriff's Office to report the discovery of the weapon. While he was waiting two men approached on ATV's. One of the men retrieved the weapon. The resident told them that he had called the Sheriff's Office about the weapon and asked them what they were doing. Neither was able to provide a satisfactory answer. According to the witness at this point the suspect that had retrieved the rifle presented himself as a law enforcement officer. The pair then drove off on the ATV's. The witness did not speak to them further because he believed they were law enforcement officers. The suspect was later positively identified as Larry Mathew Pitt. This case was forwarded to the Sheriff's Office Criminal Division to be investigated. (Sheriff's Office press release)
On Aug. 14, 2013 detectives presented the case to the District Attorney and an arrest warrant was issued for 30 year old Larry Mathew Pitt for the charge of Impersonating a Peace Officer. Bond is set at $15,000. Sheriff's officials attempted to notify the suspect of the outstanding warrant and the suspect was reported to be out of town. He is expected to surrender on this charge upon his return.
This is not the first time Pitt has been charged with impersonating an officer. He was arrested May 12, 2012 and charged with a felony for impersonating a peace officer after Calera police said he was flashing blue lights to pull over cars on Interstate 65. Pitt was driving to Destin after midnight when Calera police stopped him. In Sept. 2012 he pleaded guilty in Shelby County on a that charge. His guilty plea was for a misdemeanor and he was sentenced to a year in jail, but that was suspended. He was put on two-years of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. He remains on probation as part of that guilty plea.
Pitt started "The Basement" in the basement of his home in 2004 and it grew into one of the largest youth ministries in the country. It meets monthly and has met at a variety of venues including Boutwell Auditorium, Bartow Arena and the BJCC.
"It is very difficult to believe this has happened a second time but the fact is it did and it must be dealt with,'' Randy Christian, Information Officer for the Sheriff's Office said. "We take no pleasure in announcing an arrest warrant for someone that has had the potential to have such a positive impact on our young people. It is disappointing and hard to understand."