Drivers warned about possible police impersonator in Liberty County

May 23, 2013 2:59:49 PM PDT
People in Liberty County are on alert after a man posing as a police officer pulled a woman over. Investigators say he then started making crude remarks to her. They say the woman was stopped just outside of Cleveland.

At about 9pm Monday, a woman reported she was pulled over on a rural stretch of road by a black sports car style vehicle which resembled a Dodge Charger, but the Liberty County Sheriff's Office says the make and model of the car has not been confirmed. This vehicle did have flashing emergency lights with no obvious law enforcement markings on the car itself. The incident occurred on FM 2518 near the intersection of FM 2216.

After being stopped, the man, who was wearing a dark blue or black uniform type shirt, leaned against the driver's door of the woman's vehicle. It was noted that the uniform shirt did not have any type of shoulder patches on the sleeves, but a name that was thought to be "Merlin" or some variation of that spelling was sewed on the left side of the shirt under a star shaped badge.

The Liberty County Sheriff's Office says no law enforcement agency that they know of places the officer's name under the badge. Instead, names are displayed with a metal plate pinned on the right side of the shirt over the pocket flap.

The woman reported that at one point the subject leaned over into her car and she paid particular attention to the badge the subject was wearing. She says it was a six or seven pointed star badge with the wording of "Harris County Sheriff's Dept." on the badge. Authorities say such a patrol uniform design shirt does not fit that worn by Harris County Sheriff's deputies.

While leaning into the victim's vehicle, this subject made improper remarks. It was at this point that another passing vehicle slowed down and the suspect told the woman she could leave.

The man is described as a Hispanic male in his late 20's to early 30's, approximately 220 pounds, 5-foot 10-inches tall with light colored eyes and dark hair. He had a clean cut appearance, but with a five o'clock shadow stubble beard.

"He has some type of lighting on the dashboard," said Sgt. David Hunter with the Liberty County Precinct 5 Constable's Office. "He's wearing an all blue uniform, with no patches on it, and some type of small star badge. We do have some possible leads and we are working on that. We take this type of thing very seriously in our community."

The Liberty County Sheriff's Officer recommends that if a citizen is approached by such a vehicle and is unsure if it's an authorized law enforcement vehicle or not, the citizen should drive to a well lighted store, gas station, fire department or other area that is populated and try to obtain a license plate number if possible.

Sgt. Investigator Paul Lasco is conducting the investigation into this questionable traffic stop. If anyone has any information regarding this incident or has been stopped themselves by this subject, they're asked to contact the Sheriff's Department at 936-336-4500.

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