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Renowned pitmaster mistaken for car thief, detained in Orange County

Sam Jones calls incident 'dehumanizing'

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(Associated Press)

RALEIGH, N.C. – A renowned North Carolina pitmaster trying to rent a car in Florida was detained by police after he was mistaken for a car thief.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Sam Jones called his ordeal "one of the most dehumanizing things I've ever experienced."

Cpl. Rose Silva of the Orange County Sheriff's Office said deputies agreed with employees at the car rental agency who believed Jones looked like a suspected car thief who had visited their shop in the past two months.

Police handcuffed Jones, put him in the back of a patrol car and detained him for two hours. He said it took an extensive background check to prove he wasn't the suspected thief.

In addition to his own restaurant, Jones' family owns the Skylight Inn in Ayden.