CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WJZY) – Deputies in Catawba County are warning residents of a man posing as a law enforcement officer after a high school-age girl was stopped early Wednesday morning, according to the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.
The girl told deputies that she was stopped by what she believed was an officer on Little Mountain Road around 6:50 a.m. on Oct. 20.
She reportedly concluded that the man was impersonating an officer based on his appearance and demeanor.
Deputies said the man allowed her to leave after she asked to see his badge and what department he worked for. She reported the incident to her school resource officer.
Investigators said the suspect is described as a white man in his 30s, around 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build. He reportedly had a long, dark-colored beard and was wearing what appeared to be a law enforcement-style uniform with a firearm and other law enforcement-type equipment.
Deputies said no badge was present or displayed during the incident.
The man was driving a black SUV with no law enforcement markings but was equipped with blue lights on its front windshield.
Anyone who has seen a person matching the description is asked to call the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office at 828-464-3112.
The sheriff’s office said to follow these steps if you suspect you’re being stopped by a law enforcement impersonator:
- Turn your vehicle’s emergency flashers on and continue driving at a slower speed while attempting to pull over in a well-lit, populated area.
- Ask the person stopping you to provide you with photo ID and which department they work for.
- Pay attention to the persons clothing.
- Request another officer to respond to the traffic stop.