LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas - Investigators in Liberty County issued a warning Monday after they got a report over the weekend of a man pretending to be a police officer.
It's the third case reported this year in the same area northeast of Houston. We've seen cases in Roman Forest, Splendora and now Liberty County.
Sirens are a startling sound, and one when most of us hear it, we just pull over.
"It's pretty bad,” said Nathan Doyle, a driver who pulled over, too. "He had a pistol on his side, he was in all black.”
Doyle never imagined the officer behind the wheel might be fake.
"He never said his name, never said where he was from, all he said was he was a deputy,” Doyle said.
A man claiming to be a Liberty County Sheriff's Deputy pulled Doyle over around noon Saturday. The reason was speeding. Well, sort of. Doyle was just 3 miles over the limit on Highway 321 near FM 1008 in Dayton.
"It could be an abduction, it could be a murder, it could be a rape, it could be a robbery,” said Captain Ken DeFoor, with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Thank goodness for Doyle, it wasn't. The man posing as an officer let him go and he drove straight to the sheriff's office because something didn't feel quite right.
Doyle described the man as a white male in his 30s, approximately 6 feet tall. It's the third reported case in our area this year, and investigators are looking for a connection.
"Everybody almost now carries a gun and if some man decides this is not a legitimate stop, no telling what could happen,” DeFoor said.
Next time, Doyle's not taking chances.
"Don't roll your window all the way down, until you are for sure it's a real cop or if you’re not for sure call Liberty County or wherever you're at," Doyle said.
In two out of the three cases, the car is the same, an older white Ford Crown Victoria. Investigators are not ruling out that it could be the same person.
It's legal to have lights on your car, you just can't use them to pull someone over. If you ever have any question about who is stopping you, call 911. The dispatcher should be able to figure out if there's an actual patrol car in your area. As a rule, officers should be wearing a uniform and must be able to present a badge and credentials.
Anyone with information on these cases is urged to contact the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office at (936) 336-4500 or the Splendora police at (281)-689-3448.