Bulloch County government officials are investigating two reports of suspicious activity, one involving allegations of lewd comments, against Michael Rollins, director of Bulloch County Parks and Recreation.
After first claiming he was unfamiliar with the matter, Rollins, 62, then denied the allegations during a conversation Tuesday when the Statesboro Herald reached him on his personal cell phone.
On Thursday, Sept. 19, Statesboro police officer I.O. Francois responded to two complaints, within less than two hours, involving a “man with white hair in a white Ford F150 extended cab with a government tag,” according to copies of police reports and supplemental statements provided Tuesday to the Statesboro Herald after records request were submitted Monday.
The first incident took place at Mill Creek Regional Park around 11:15 a.m. Thursday, reports stated.
According to the reports, a 29-year-old female told police a man with white hair, in a white F150 with a government tag, was “circling” her vehicle and “making strange passes through the parking lot.”
The Statesboro Herald acquired copies of Statesboro Police dash cam and body cam videos showing the victim and another female, her friend, describing how the man later identified as Rollins parked behind one of their vehicles, blocking her, and circled while the two women were “loading children” into the cars.
One video shows officer Francois pulling behind Rollins after the women pointed him out. Reports stated Rollins appeared to see the police arrive and turned around, heading in the opposite direction. When the officer stopped him, Rollins stated he was “checking on workers and attempting to deter drug dealers.”
Rollins told the Statesboro Herald that there are problems with drug deals at the park and he suspected the two women with children could possibly be involved in drug activity.
“I didn’t do anything. I have had numerous problems with people with drugs – those two people didn’t look right,” he said.
The women at Mill Creek told police they felt unsafe with Rollins’ actions and called 911. A police video during the initial response shows both women expressing disbelief when officers told them the suspicious man was Rollins.
Comments at Enmarket
Less than two hours after the incident at Mill Creek Park, officer Francois met a 24-year-old female at Enmarket on Northside Drive West, where she said a man fitting Rollins’ description harassed her with obscene suggestions.
Francois stated in reports he recognized the suspect’s description and vehicle as being the same as at Mill Creek.
Around 12:40 p.m., the victim was on her lunch break when she walked out of the store and Rollins spoke, smiled and, according to reports, made a vulgar comment about being physically aroused. He then invited her to “come over” and make physical contact, according to her statement in police reports.
The woman said she “freaked out” and tried to leave, but Rollins put his truck in reverse and tried again to get her attention, she said.
Officer Francois stated in his report that he viewed the Enmarket video and saw Rollins putting the truck in reverse and making a move to regain the victim’s attention.
The woman snapped cell phone photos of Rollins’ truck, showing the Bulloch County government tag, and after showing police, later posted the photos and her account of what happened on Facebook.
Rollins told the Statesboro Herald the accusation is false.
“She has her side of the story” he said. “That’s not what happened. I would never say anything vulgar to a person. I have never seen that person in my life.”
After responding to questions, he said his attorney, whom he did not identify, advised him to not comment on the matter. But then he went on to say “I don’t get on social media and I haven’t seen anything.”
Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch and Bulloch County Commission Chairman Roy Thompson each confirmed they are aware of the allegations.
“The accusations have been made and an investigation is in progress,” Thompson said. “When all the facts have been gathered, a decision will be made.”
Couch said “We are still carrying out an investigation. We are trying to expedite (the matter) but we are also trying to be very thorough.”
Statesboro police have not charged Rollins with any crime.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.