Brian Scott, Denton County Reporter
Corinth police warn a man is pretending to a police officer after a woman said she was pulled over by what she thought was an unmarked police car and the police impersonator threatened to arrest her.
Corinth police are looking for a man posing as an officer who pulled over a driver and threatened to arrest her.
Lt. Jim Gregg said a man in silver Ford Crown Victoria pulled over a woman on the northbound Interstate 35E service road at about 7 a.m. on May 2.
He told her that he smelled drugs on her car and had her get out while he searched it.
"At a couple points, he actually told her if she didn't comply he was going to take her in and actually exposed some handcuffs," said Gregg, who also said the man cursed at the woman during the stop.
The victim said the man was dressed as a police officer and displayed handcuffs on his belt. Police said the man did not display a gun.
The man's car was also dressed for the part, with emergency lights in the front window and an audible siren.
The woman did not notice any registration or inspection stickers on the vehicle's window.
Corinth police only have one Crown in Victoria in use, but it is rarely used for the traffic stops. The department said it is even rarer that a siren is used during such stops.
Gregg said the department has alerted other neighboring agencies to keep an eye out for the car, but said it is more important that they warn the public.
Investigators do not know the man's motive for the stop.
Many Corinth residents said they would probably pull over if an unmarked car was behind them but would be more skeptical because of the warning about the impostor.
"You never know what they're going to do, because you never know what they really are doing," Devante Taylor-Wells said. "They may be impersonating a cop, and you may not know what you're getting yourself into."
Gregg agreed, saying it never hurts to check and make sure the unmarked car is an actual police car.
He recommends pulling into a well-lit, public area or even a police station if an unmarked car tries to stop you. Drivers can also simply dial 911 before stopping if they are unsure, he said.
"Ask them if their police unit is trying to stop your particular vehicle," Gregg said.
Police said the victim described the phony officer as a black man who is about 6 feet tall, about 40 years old and a tattoo on his left hand.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Corinth police at 940-498-2017.