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'Naked as a jaybird' gets officer's attention

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Bandera County Sheriff's Office Patrol Sgt. Gerald "Jerry" Johnson got a little more than he bargained for when he stopped to investigate a vehicle parked just off Highway 16 South.
At approximately 4 am, Saturday, July 18, while on patrol, Johnson noticed a vehicle parked at a combination rest stop and picnic area near the entrance to Bandera River Ranch. Checking out a vehicle parked under the trees, Johnson made a startling discovery - a man, "naked as a jaybird," in the words of BCSO Chief Deputy Matt King, was sitting unconcernedly on one of the wooden tables.
The man was identified as Gene Lippy, 31, of Bandera. According to a law enforcement report, Lippy's clothes, as well as a pillow, were beside him on the picnic table.
The report stated that when Johnson asked the suspect what he was doing, Lippy reportedly replied that he didn't know, the last he recalled he was in his bed at home. Lippy also apparently offered that it had been a month since he last consumed any drugs.
As the man was getting dressed, however, Johnson noticed a paper bag on the table. Perusal of the bag determined that it contained inhalant paraphernalia commonly used to smoke methamphetamine in addition to a small quantity of the drug.
Lippy was arrested and subsequently charged with felony possession of a Penalty Group 1 controlled substance and for misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He was taken to the Bandera County Jail where he was released the next day. The law enforcement report failed to note whether Johnson had sanitized the picnic table before returning to patrol.