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Man Pretends To Be Deaf To Evade Arrest, Fails

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NEW LENOX TOWNSHIP, Ill. (CBS) — A wanted man allegedly pretended to be deaf and mute when police caught him, but officers didn’t buy it.

The incident began around 7 p.m. this past Saturday, when a Will County sheriff’s patrol deputy pulled over a white Pontiac Grand Prix on Cass Street near Gougar Road in New Lenox Township. The driver of the car ahd crossed over the center lane three times, police said.

According to reports, Brandon Nesbitt, 22, of downstate Carbondale, and his passenger were not wearing seat belts.

“I asked the man to provide identification and he replied with an indistinguishable response and made multiple hand gestures as if trying to sign to me,” the deputy reported. “Nesbitt advised his passenger was ‘deaf and dumb.’”

But the purportedly deaf man did not seem to have trouble hearing a command to step out of the car. He complied with the order when New Lenox police officers arrived as backup.

The “deaf and dumb” man also stepped to the front of the Pontiac without hesitation when the deputy ordered him to do so.

Reports said the deputy wrote “write your name and birthday” on a piece of paper, but told the man out loud because his other commands were understood he wasn’t convinced he had a disability.

Finally, the man gave up the ruse.

“The passenger began to speak in a typical fashion and identified himself,” police said.

But the man wasn’t done trying to evade arrest, police said. He reportedly provided a phony name and attempted to run away before he was stopped.

A wallet found inside had a photo ID belonging to Terrance Godfrey, 39, of the 611 block of East Cass Street in New Lenox Township.

It appears playing a deaf-mute was not Godfrey’s first attempt at acting. He was wanted in DuPage County for impersonating a police officer, reports said.

Godfrey was arrested for obstructing justice and resisting arrest and booked into the county jail. Nesbitt was cited for traffic violations.

The SouthtownStar contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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