Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Camden Seeking Man Posing as an Officer; Four Motorists Have Reported Being Pulled over by Fake Cop with Badge, Gun

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Camden Seeking Man Posing as an Officer; Four Motorists Have Reported Being Pulled over by Fake Cop with Badge, Gun

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski

Camden County sheriff's deputies are searching for a gunman impersonating a police officer who has been stopping motorists on Interstate 95 and near St. Marys for three years.

Sheriff Tommy Gregory released a composite drawing of the impostor Monday and advised residents and travelers to remain calm but take precautions when someone they think might not be a real law enforcement officer tries to pull them over.

The phony cop has a badge and is armed with a handgun that he has kept holstered during the four incidents motorists reported, Sheriff's Office spokesman Deputy William Terrell told the Times-Union.

The motorists include two men and two women. Although one man was verbally harassed because of his nationality, none of the four victims were injured, Terrell said.

He said the victims were stopped during both daylight and nighttime hours. The first incident reported was in late 2008, followed by similar encounters in November 2010 and February.

The impostor most recently confronted a motorist about 8:10 a.m. July 24. Two incidents occurred near St. Marys and the others happened on I-95, Terrell said.

Each time, the impostor was driving a car with flashing blue lights, and he showed the drivers a police badge. Deputies don't know if it was a real badge, he said.

"He [impostor] tells them they are speeding or committed some other traffic violation. He doesn't give them a ticket; he warns them, then lets them go," Terrell said.

The man poses a danger both to the public and real police, who may stop to back up or otherwise assist another officer, Terrell said.

"If they don't realize it's someone impersonating an officer, they could be killed or injured by him," Terrell said.

Deputies described the impostor as a white man who looks to be in his early 30s. Clean-shaven with short reddish hair and blue eyes, he is about 6 feet 2 and weighs about 200 pounds. …

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