RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) - A man is behind bars after allegedly impersonating a police officer Saturday night. The suspect pretended to be an off-duty officer while approaching an 18-year-old woman at a local bank. The victim was able to get away, but if you're in a similar situation, News 4 learned what your rights are.
"Bottom line, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't,” said Officer Tim Broadway with the Reno Police Department.
Kenneth Leander Crockett II was arrested on multiple charges after police say he posed as an off-duty officer Saturday night. They say Crockett directed the victim back to his car which had flashing amber lights.
“You can get those lights unfortunately quite easily, offline, through catalogs and even at some of the part stores," said Officer Broadway.
Officer Broadway says identifying an actual patrol car may be difficult to do, unless the driver is in uniform.
“Officers that are undercover will normally have the gear we call it, a flak vest, which has police identified on it," said Officer Broadway.
So if you are approached by what appears to be an off-duty officer, Officer Broadway says it’s your right to request a marked car.
“If you feel uncomfortable, obviously yes call 911, let them know you are being followed by someone and it’s not a marked unit, but proceed to a lit area, the lighter the area, the better," said Officer Broadway.
Broadway also says if someone in an unmarked car does attempt to stop you, first think, did I break the law?
“Did I run a stop sign, did I forget to use my turn signal, am I on my cell phone, think about that, did I actually commit a violation,” said Officer Broadway.
Officer Broadway says if you are caught impersonating a police officer, it is a felony crime and you will face charges. And if you're approached by someone claiming to be an off-duty officer, you can request to see their badge. When the victim in this case did that, Officer Broadway says the suspect got nervous and took off.