Man poses as police officer in Autauga County

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It happened on Interstate 65 South near the Pine Level exit in Autauga County. A woman in her 40s from south Alabama was pulled over by what she thought was a legitimate looking police officer, a flashing blue light on the dash of a dark-colored SUV.

The woman realized soon enough this was too scary and too fake when the impersonator asked her to get out of the car and then allegedly groped her.

"She's very lucky because she was able to get away and get back in her car. A lot of times you have someone who wants to be a policeman or maybe they were rejected by some agencies, this is their way of being wanna-be officers," said Autauga County Sheriff Herbie Johnson.

Law enforcement agencies today have a number of marked vehicles as well as unmarked cars. The best thing to do if you're ever in doubt is to put on your emergency flashers and drive to the nearest exit, preferably a populated area and call 911.

County investigators have a good idea of what happened, why and where but solving the case may be a different story altogether.

"We don't really know who we're looking for and no tag number," said Sheriff Johnson.

Because it happened so fast, the woman was not able to give a full description of the man who allegedly pulled her over for no apparent reason.

In the 20 years Johnson's been in office he can only recall this happening about a half-dozen times. A rare occurrence but it does happen. This woman was fortunate. She managed to get away unharmed.

"This could have led to a kidnapping, murder or rape," said Sheriff Johnson.

As of now no leads, no suspects.

If Autauga County investigators do catch the suspect, the sheriff says the man will face charges of sexual assault and impersonating a police officer, potentially earning anywhere from two to 20 years in prison if there's a conviction.

Sheriff Johnson declined to identify the victim in this case.

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