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Man pretended to be cop, then pulled woman into stairwell and exposed himself to her: Police


A man pretended to be a police officer and exposed himself to a woman, according to police in Tampa, Florida.

It happened the night of Feb. 22 at a Ramada Inn on North West Shore Boulevard, they claim.

“The suspect, seen in the video, displayed a badge to the adult female victim before pulling her into a stairwell and exposing himself to her,” officers wrote. “The victim, who was not injured, pushed the suspect away before running to safety. Surveillance video shows the suspect coming out of a stairwell in the hotel lobby immediately after the incident before walking northbound onto the property next door.”

You can see the footage above. Officers did a freeze frame on the man they claim to be the perpetrator. The video shows him stepping through the hotel’s automatic doors and walking around a corner.

The man was described as white or Hispanic, with a possible Cuban accent, police said. He appeared to be in his 30s, they said. He stood 5 foot 10 to 6 feet tall. Sporting facial hair, he had a muscular build with a belly, police said. He wore a long-sleeved pink shirt and blue jeans, officers said.

“Our investigators will work tirelessly to apprehend the suspect in this case before he can victimize anyone else,” said Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw. “It is a felony to impersonate a police officer, and we take any report of this happening very seriously. Our community can always ask a Tampa Police officer for identifying information and call our non-emergency line to confirm the information provided if they believe someone may be impersonating an officer.”

Police released tips, which they suggested would keep people safe when dealing with someone impersonating a police officer:

If you believe someone is impersonating a law enforcement officer:
• Ask for a name a badge number and to see their identification.
• Do not be afraid to advise the officer you intend to call the dispatch center (non-emergency in Tampa 813.231.6130) to verify the officer’s identity.
• Call 911 if you believe the person is posing as a Law Enforcement Officer.
• Trust your instincts.

If you suspect someone pulling you over is impersonating a police officer:
• Look for a safe place to pull over
• Signal your intent and slow down (activate your hazard lights)
• Call 911 to confirm it is an officer; be sure to provide the call-taker with your location, vehicle description, and license plate
• Keep your doors locked while the dispatcher checks the information you provided
• Ask the officer for their name and badge number and confirm the information with 911.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

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