The recent arrest of a Dunmore resident on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol demonstrates the hazards of attempting to avoid arrest by lying about friendships with the chief of police and other important law enforcement officials.
A Dunmore police officer spotted a Chevrolet parked in the middle of the street. As the officer approached, the car sped off, eventually stopping a few blocks away. When the officer approached the vehicle and asked the driver why he had parked in the middle of the street, the driver flashed a gold badge and said he was a Dunmore police officer. The officer cautioned the man to slow down and left the scene.
Meanwhile, the Lackawanna County Communications Center radioed the officer and told him that the Chevrolet was a stolen car. The man was later arrested at gunpoint. When he reached the police station, he told the offers that he “personally” knew the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Dunmore Police Chief, and several other Dunmore officers. When asked again whether he was actually a police officer, the man said that he was not but that the Chief had given him permission to identify himself as an officer. The man also said that he was paying the rental car company $1,600 a month for the Chevrolet. The also attempted to convince the officers that he had served as a police officer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Under more questioning, the driver admitted that this statement was also a lie. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of an automobile, using false identification and impersonating a police officer.
The episode has elements of humor, but it has a very serious lesson: impersonating an officer and lying to the police are serious offenses. A far safer course of action after an arrest is to exercise the right to remain silent and to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. And let the lawyer do the talking.
Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, “Dunmore man charged with DUI, impersonating a police officer,” Joseph Kohut, October 27, 2014