The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an incident where a male suspect impersonated a police officer and stopped a female driver late at night. Citizens are encouraged to take safety precautions if they are stopped by a suspicious person or vehicle.
On Aug. 21, 2016 at 11:30 p.m., a 21-year-old female saw blue and red lights behind her moments after she left work in the area of 72nd St E. and Waller Rd E. Assuming there was a police officer behind her, the woman pulled over. The suspect exited the car, approached her driver’s door and told her to get out of her car. She asked him why she was pulled over, but the suspect did not answer her question and again told her to exit her vehicle. The woman became suspicious that the suspect was not a real police officer because he never asked her for her driver’s license, registration or insurance documents. The suspect again told her to get out of the car and then told her to “stop resisting.”
The woman told the suspect she was not comfortable getting out of her car and asked him to call another police officer to the scene. The suspect became angry and told her two more times to get out of the car, but she refused and again told the suspect to call another officer to the scene. The suspect returned to his vehicle, sat inside for a few moments, then drove away.
The suspect was wearing a navy blue two-piece uniform which did not have a badge, name tag or any patches on it. He was wearing a duty belt with a holstered handgun, but the woman did not hear or see a radio. The suspect’s car was white and said “Police” on the door. It had red and blue lights near the dashboard area, but did not have a light bar or lights mounted on the roof.
None of the neighboring police agencies have any record of making a traffic stop in that area during the general time frame and there is no record of anyone stopping the victim or her vehicle.
If a citizen is stopped by what appears to be a police vehicle, but they are suspicious, they may call 911 and a dispatcher can confirm that it is a real traffic stop being conducted by a real police officer.