SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Suffolk man was arrested last week after police say he stopped a person while pretending to be a police officer.
Police say they were tipped to the alleged crime by a social media post. In the post, a person said they were stopped on Friday morning by someone with a unmarked police vehicle with blue lights.
Officers found the vehicle parked at a business in the 600 block of Carolina Road and questioned the owner, Eugene Johnson III, 30, of Suffolk. He was then arrested and charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, a felony, and taken to Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
According to the criminal complaint, Johnson told police he saw someone speeding on Dill Road, flashed blue lights, pulled that person over, and then told them to slow down.
Johnson was also arrested for impersonating a police officer in 2011.
10 On Your Side reached out to Johnson, but he did not want to speak with us.
City spokeswoman Diana Klink says they take crimes like this very seriously. “You’ve got the public trust that is eroded when you have these types of incidents occur, not to mention people really feeling fearful for their own personal safety,” she said.
Klink says there are things people can do if they question the person pulling them over. First, call 911.
“Our dispatchers can tell them very quickly whether or not that’s actually a legitimate traffic stop or not,” she said.
You can also request to see an officer’s badge and request they call for back-up. She says if someone is lying, they will most likely leave. Klink said, “In most cases, once those types of actions are encountered with an individual, they’re going to be on their way, they’re not going to be sticking around.”
Klink also encourages people to call 911 if they believe a crime has occurred.
Johnson, who is out on bond, was arraigned in a hearing on Nov. 30, 2018. A preliminary hearing has been set for Jan. 24, 2019.