MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms. Low: ...more »
Cop Impersonator Suspects in Custody
Two teenagers are in police custody Tuesday, accused of impersonating
a police officer and stopping an elderly man in a prank gone wrong.
These developments follow a story ABC NewsChannel 20 first reported Monday--warning of yet another reported police impersonator.
The victim was a 79-year-old man Springfield man, who helped lead authorities to the suspects. When the victim refused to pull over, the red SUV with flashing yellow lights pulled sideways in front of him in the road, but authorities say the victim was able to write down a partial license plate number.
Now police believe three teens were involved in this incident, and two of them are currently suspects. While names are not being released at this time, both teens are from Chatham, one is 17 years old and the other is 19 years old.
Sangamon County Undersheriff Jack Campbell said it looks like a prank in very poor taste. Authorities do not think these teens are responsible for the other impersonator reports throughout the county, but they may have learned from them.
"We need to protect the public by getting this information out, but we also are giving ideas to young people that they think are funny," Campbell said. "But again, as we know as adults, it's not funny. It actually can be terrifying for people, and especially given the information we have out there about all the incidents that have happened, you don't know whether or not this is a real police officer behind you or not."
Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser will review what charges the suspects could face. Campbell tells us charges stemming from impersonating an officer can include felonies.
One aspect of this case was particularly dangerous. The victim says one of the suspects looked like he was holding a weapon.
Authorities said if someone commits a crime insinuating they have a weapon, they can be charged as though they did have one.