Edmonton driver warns of police impersonator
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2012 5:38PM MDT
An Edmonton man is issuing a warning to other drivers, after he said a driver impersonating a police officer pulled him over – and then sped away.
The driver – who did not wish to be identified – said he was driving on Anthony Henday Drive near the Cameron Heights overpass at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
He told CTV News a vehicle pulled up behind him with flashing blue lights, and he pulled over.
The driver said he pulled out his license and registration, but nobody got out of the other vehicle – before the vehicle, which he described as a Jeep covered in mud, sped away.
“He goes up on the ramp, passing cars erratically, and then he turns left into oncoming traffic to go back into the westbound lane, back onto the Anthony Henday,” the driver said.
This incident mirrors at least two others in recent memory – in November, 2011, when MLA and Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk was pulled over by what appeared to be a police car.
In the end, one 16-year-old was issued a ticket.
However, a serious incident from similar circumstances in February, 2009 left a 16-year-old girl abducted at gunpoint in Penhold, and sexually assaulted by a man impersonating an officer.
Materials and instructions on how to impersonate a police car can easily be found online.
“Anybody who’s at all inclined and can pick up a catalogue or surf the internet,” Steve Yakimchuk said. “There’s a million things you can do.”
“It is actually a criminal offence to impersonate a peace officer or a police officer,” Inspector Brian Nowlan told CTV News. “It’s punishable either imprisonment or a fine, or a combination of both.”
Police said official police vehicles in Alberta will have both red and blue lights, and officers recommend asking for identification if the true identity of an officer if there is any doubt.
As for the man pulled over Tuesday night, he’s thankful the situation didn’t take a turn for the worse.
“It’s kind of scary, because I wonder if there wasn’t as much traffic, maybe my car gets car-jacked, [or] someone pulls a gun on me.”
With files from Brenna Rose