SHAWNEE, KS (KCTV) -- A Kansas driver who is a firefighter said a man pretending to be a police officer pulled over the wrong person because he wasn’t fooled.
No one wants to see flashing lights in their rearview mirror.
If you are getting pulled over, it’s important the person doing it is who they say they are. In Shawnee, you'll see an SUV or a sedan.
When Alex Stockman saw flashing lights behind him, he expected to see a clean-cut officer walking up to his truck door. But instead, Alex Stockman said he “probably had about a 3- to 4-inch long beard.”
Stockman said he immediately noticed red flags, including that the man was not in uniform and that he was driving a much older car that did not look anything like the black and white Shawnee police patrol vehicles.
“He did have a firearm on him,” Stockman said. “I could tell right away it wasn't an actual firearm. It was a BB gun. He wasn't smart enough to Sharpie out the orange tip on the end of it.”
Stockman said he asked for a name and badge number.
“Well, he said, ‘I don't have it on me,’” Stockman said. “Okay, I'm pretty sure you are supposed to have that on you.”
“He just decided to take off,” Stockman said. “He said, ‘Oh, I've got another call,’ and took off. Red and blues. Gone.”
Stockman reported the traffic stop to the Shawnee police who said real officers will be wearing a badge, name plate and patches on their sleeves.
“If the person that exits the vehicle is not in the proper uniform or you have a funny feeling, ask for their credentials, ask for a supervisor, ask for another unit,” said Matt Sumpter, Master Patrol Officer with the Shawnee Police Department.
If that does not happen, you can call 911. Dispatchers can verify if a legitimate officer is conducting a traffic stop.
“Drive slowly to a populated area, somewhere safe,” Sumpter said. “If it's at night, a well-lit area.”
Alex said he knew right away something was off. After all, he is a firefighter. However, he worries other, younger drivers might not.
“He could take advantage of you,” Stockman said.
Shawnee police are currently searching for the suspect.