A 51-year-old Forestville man is under investigation for impersonating a police officer after authorities said he attempted to pull over a motorist.
U.S. Park Police received a 911 call about 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 19 from a man who identified himself as an off-duty police officer with the Department of Defense, according to court documents. The man said he needed assistance after trying to stop someone he said was driving recklessly on Suitland Parkway in Temple Hills.
Officers were greeted by a man who displayed a police badge hanging on a chain around his neck and Department of Defense police credentials. He had handcuffs and a semi-automatic handgun holstered on his hip.
His vehicle, a brown 2000 Chevrolet Suburban, was equipped with flashing red-and-blue lights and a siren, and a Maryland law enforcement registration license plate, court papers said.
The man told the officers that he hit the lights and siren to pull over the driver of a Jeep Cherokee, but the driver jumped from the vehicle and fled on foot, documents said. The Jeep then rolled across Suitland Parkway and into a wooded area.
Police issued a lookout for the suspect, and Metro Transit Police quickly arrested a man who matched the description at the Naylor Road Metro Station.
Police had the caller come into the station that afternoon to identify the suspect and then began interviewing the suspected police impersonator. The man claimed he had been a DOD police officer for the past seven years. At first, he said he was stationed at the Navy Yard on M Street but then changed his statement to say he was stationed in Dahlgren, Va., police said.
The man arrested at the Metro station was released without charges. The Jeep Cherokee had never been reported stolen, according to court documents.
Park Police obtained a letter from the chief of police for Naval Support Activity saying that the man was not a police officer. They then served a search warrant on the man's home and vehicle on the 3400 block of Regency Parkway in Forestville.
Police recovered a .40-caliber pistol, badge, stun gun, handcuffs, expandible baton, pepper spray, ammunition, two police shirts, two revolvers and ammunition. In the vehicle, police recovered two police vests, a D.C. police vehicle placard and a special police badge.
The Washington Examiner has not identified the man because he has not been charged.