Nude sunbathers surprise officer

While searching Thursday afternoon for a stray dog in an Appling graveyard, a Columbia County Animal Care and Control officer came across an unexpected sight: a man and woman sunbathing in the nude.

"I was a little shocked," Animal Control officer Russell Swann said. "I was expecting to see a dog out there."

Animal Control had received a call from a member of Solid Rock Baptist Church on Scotts Ferry Road saying someone had abandoned a dog on the church's property.

Mr. Swann said he first searched in the front side of the property. As he rounded a corner to the back side of the church, he encountered the naked backsides of the couple stretched out at the edge of the church graveyard.

"When I walked back there, there was two naked people and the dog sitting right beside them," he said. "As soon as they saw me, they started throwing clothes on."

Mr. Swann said he called his dispatcher, who in turn called police.

"I was a little freaked out," he said. "I pulled my vehicle behind theirs so they couldn't get out and waited for a sheriff's deputy."

A deputy gave the couple a warning and let them go, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

During his three years working with Animal Control, Mr. Swann said, he has never come across anything similar to what he experienced Thursday.

"That was definitely a first for me," he said.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 863-6165 or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.