Minden Press-Herald

Thursday
Oct 02nd

Stop in the name of the law?

police

Man impersonating officer may be local

Two Webster Parish women recently experienced traffic stops inside the Minden city limits by a man who could be impersonating a police officer.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said he has received  two reports of stops by a man who fits the description of a suspect being investigated by Shreveport police.

“If this is the same guy – and it sounds like it – then he’s getting braver,” Cropper said. “I think he may even be from Minden.”

According to Cropper, about two weeks ago a woman from north Webster was driving through downtown Minden, looking for a specific business.

“It was about 8:30 in the morning, and she got turned around,” Cropper said. “She ended up going down East Union to the intersection of Sheppard Street where she turned around and started back toward town.”

Cropper said she was stopped by a man in what appeared to be a patrol unit that was sitting in the parking lot of a local business.

“He got out of the vehicle and approached her,” Cropper said. “She remained in her car and asked why he stopped her. He told her she appeared to be lost and he was seeing if she needed help.”

When the woman told him she was fine, the man, a white male in a dark blue pullover shirt and dark pants, reportedly told her if she had trouble, she could come back to the business and find him.

“It was nothing really out of line – just kind of strange,” Cropper said. “But, she felt uncomfortable.”

Cropper said the woman described a patrol car with a white hood, dark quarter panel  and blue and red lights on it.

“Some of our older units look like that,” he said. “But our newer models have only the blue lights.”

The chief said another odd indication was her description of the officer and his apparel.

“The only officer I had working that day in that type of shirt was not a white male,” Cropper said. “She also said he was carrying a hand-held radio with buttons on it – like a portable scanner, not a police-issued radio.”

Cropper said a second incident happened last week on Shreveport Road, where another female was stopped.

“The man didn’t get her out of the car, but he approached the vehicle and told her that if he saw her doing whatever he claimed he saw her doing, he was going to stop her and give her a ticket,” the chief said. “The woman is from here, and she knew it was not a Minden police officer.”

Cropper said he became even more concerned when he learned Shreveport police are investigating a report that a man allegedly posing as a law enforcement officer accosted a woman in east Shreveport Tuesday night.

According to Shreveport Police Public Information Officer Bill Goodin, at approximately 9 p.m. on May10, an adult female victim reported to officers that she was driving in the 4100 block of Youree Drive when she heard what she described as a police siren and then observed flashing lights behind her vehicle.

“She immediately pulled over and was contacted by a male suspect who directed her to pull into a nearby parking lot,” Goodin said. “She complied and, once in the lot, the man approached her and ordered her to exit her car. She did so and the suspect began to, according to the victim, fondle her.

“At that point she began to resist his advances and he subsequently pointed what she described as a Taser at her,” Goodin continued.

The victim reportedly continued to fight her assailant at which time he got back into his car and fled the scene.

 The suspect is described as a white male with reddish brown hair styled in a high and tight hair cut, just over six feet tall weighing approximately 210 pounds. He may or may not have facial hair.

He was wearing some type of dark navy blue uniform and was driving a Ford Crown Victoria that was black and white in color.

Cropper urged Minden residents to stay vigilant.

“We never want anyone to run from a traffic stop, but if anyone ever feels uncomfortable when the lights and sirens go on, they should make sure they are safe before pulling over,” Cropper said.

The chief said one way to accomplish that would be to drive slowly to a familiar, well-lighted place before stopping.

“Or pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1,” he said. “Tell the dispatcher an officer is pulling you over and you want to be sure that it is indeed an officer before stopping. The dispatcher should be able to verify if you are being stopped by a real officer in a matter of seconds.”

Anyone with information regarding the identity of this suspect is urged to call Minden Police at 377-1212.

 

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