Man on Herald-Leader front page is cited after police recognize his picture

kward1@herald-leader.comFebruary 9, 2009 

A man who appeared on the front page of the Herald-Leader last week has been cited because police saw the photo and identified him as the same man captured on video at a gas station where he allegedly used a stolen credit card.

But the man and his wife vigorously deny the allegations.

Don Nelson was featured, along with his wife, Carlene, in a story and photo Feb. 3 about vulnerable citizens who still lacked electricity.

Officer Chris Sutton, a Lexington police spokesman, said officers investigating a complaint by a man whose credit card was stolen in December recognized Nelson as the man caught on video using the card at a Speedway on Nicholasville Road.

Sutton said the man in the video was wearing the same hat Nelson was wearing in the Herald-Leader photo and had a long gray beard just like Nelson's.

Nelson, 65, has been cited for fraudulent use of a credit card.

Documents filed in district court accuse him of using a stolen U.S. Bank card to withdraw $204 at two ATM machines Dec. 11. Sutton said police decided to cite Nelson, rather than arrest him, because of his health.

Nelson and his wife said the man in the gas station photograph shown to them by police was wearing blue jeans and a belt, both items they say Nelson does not own.

Carlene Nelson said the couple has not had transportation since Dec. 1, when her car was totaled. She said her husband also has neuropathy in his legs that prevents him from walking.

"I haven't been on Nicholasville Road in years," Don Nelson said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned March 18.

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