Reports of driver pullovers in Baldwin County, Ala., checked for possible police impersonator
Women say they were stopped by someone who was posing as policemanThursday, November 20, 2008 By VIRGINIA BRIDGESStaff Reporter
Law enforcement officials urged drivers to exercise caution after two women in Baldwin County reported being pulled over this week by someone impersonating a police officer.
The Sheriff's Office was investigating a Tuesday incident in which a man driving a light-colored sports car, possibly a Dodge Charger, reportedly turned on a revolving blue light on his dashboard and pulled over a woman in the Spanish Fort area, said Sheriff's Maj. Anthony Lowery.
The woman, who was stopped on U.S. 31 near Stagecoach Road just after 6 p.m., said a man approached her car and asked her to exit the vehicle.
The woman, who was uncomfortable with the situation because the man didn't show a badge and wasn't in uniform, asked him to follow her to her grandmother's home, Lowery said.
The man drove behind her for a short distance then pulled away, Lowery said.
"The guy could just be a cop wannabe or he could be sinister, and that is what you worry about," Lowery said.
Officials were also investigating a Wednesday incident in which a woman was reportedly pulled over on Alabama 59 between Stapleton and Bay Minette at about 10:30 a.m. by a man driving a beige Mercury Marquis with blue lights in the grill of the car, said State Trooper Cpl. Joe Piggott.
The man, who claimed to be a State Trooper but wasn't wearing a uniform, pulled her over, gave her a verbal warning for speeding and then sent her on her way, Piggott said.
When the woman told her father about the incident, he thought it was suspicious and suggested that she report it to police, Piggott said.
Anyone who is pulled over by an unmarked vehicle should ask for identification, and don't just rely on a badge, Piggott said.
"Anyone can get a badge at Wal-Mart," Piggott said.
Lowery pointed out that modern police vehicles include flashing headlights and blue lights that flash back and forth, not ones that just spin in circles.
Anyone who feels uncomfortable when an officer attempts to pull them over should acknowledge the official by slowing down and turning on the vehicle's hazard lights, Piggott said, then drive to the next exit or a populated well-lit area.
Concerned drivers can also call 911 or dial *47 on their cell phones to confirm the person behind them is an officer, Piggott said.
Anyone who has experienced a similar situation is asked to contact the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office at 251-937-0202 or State Troopers at 251-660-2300.