DETROIT — A man allegedly impersonating a Detroit police officer had all the right equipment — a loaded gun, a badge and uniform — but ran into trouble when he allegedly confronted an undercover officer.
The man was arrested at about 5 p.m. Wednesday after he approached an undercover Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy in the area of Vernor and Oakdale on Detroit’s East Side, deputies said. The department’s Morality Unit was conducting a sting operation in response to prostitution complaints in the area.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napolean said the man approached the female officer who was posing as a prostitute and talking to a potential customer. He flashed a badge and yelled at her to “get off the street,” deputies said.
As the would-be John sped off, the imposter began to follow the detective ranting he was an officer, deputies said. When she told him she was an officer working undercover, he ran in the other direction. Deputies stopped the man a short distance later and arrested him.
Under questioning, the man denied even having a badge, but a search of his vehicle revealed a loaded .40-caliber Glock handgun, Detroit Police Department badge and hats and clothing with DPD logos, deputies said.
In a written statement to Local 4, Napoleon said: “This is a very bizarre situation that could have become deadly. This guy was so bold as to interrupt officers conducting a sting! For all intents and purposes he had the weapon, the badge and the clothing-that’s a crime in itself. Who knows what other crimes he would commit in the future had our team not taken him down.”
The 51-year-old Detroit resident is being held in Division 3 jail in Hamtramck awaiting arraignment. Investigators aren’t revealing the DPD badge number; however Detroit police have been notified. The suspect faces one count of impersonating a police officer. He’s expected to be arraigned on Thursday.