Precautions to take after police impostor sexual assault - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Precautions to take after police impostor sexual assault

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) -

The search continues for a police impersonator following a bogus traffic stop in Montgomery that led to a sexual assault.

Now, law enforcement officials are speaking out with some key tips for drivers.

Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham drives an unmarked white SUV, equipped with the police package with lights and sirens, like many top brass and investigators. It was upsetting for the sheriff to hear that someone pretended to be a policeman in his county and hurt someone in the process.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, at about 7 p.m., Montgomery police responded to Interstate 65 near Edgemont Avenue in reference to a non-police vehicle that had conducted a traffic stop that resulted in a sexual assault.

The vehicle was described as a dark-colored sedan resembling a Ford Crown Victoria, equipped with a blue flashing light.

The sheriff advised on what you should do if you're being pulled over by a plain car and don't feel safe.

“Once you turn on your hazards and you reduce your speed and you're still driving under the speed limit and stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, that officer will understand that you're trying to go somewhere where you feel it's safe,” the sheriff explained. “It won't alarm those officers. They'll understand.”

Tony Garrett director of Central Alabama CrimeStoppers says stay on the main thoroughfare. Don't turn into any unfamiliar neighborhoods or side streets.

“Find a well lit, populated area. If it's a well lit area but no one is there, that's not going to do you any good. Like a busy convenience store, fire station, shopping center, somewhere where people can see you,” he explained.

Observe the person getting out of the car and check out their car. Marked patrol cars are highly identifiable. If it's unmarked, you may want to consider dialing 911 and getting on the phone with a dispatcher to tell them what's going on.

“They'll send out an alert and they'll ask and see if any of their units have pulled over anyone so then you would have that confirmation from dispatch,” Garrett said. “If you're in a rural community, you might have to drive for a while before you get to a well populated area, but if you're on the phone with 911, they'll relay what you need to do. If it's not a police officer, they'll send a unit you're way.”

“At least the dispatch will be able to say if it's one of their vehicles or another agency. At least you're letting someone know you're not trying to elude. You're just scared,” Sheriff Cunningham added.

MPD has not provided a description of the suspect in this case.

If you see a vehicle matching the description provided by the department, call 911. If you have information about the car, call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP, the Secret Witness at 625-4000, or the Montgomery Police Department at 625-2831.

“It really upsets law enforcement and hopefully the community as a whole is upset about it and that helps us because they're our eyes and ears. Hopefully, they'll report it if they see someone driving around in vehicle with blue lights on horse playing or whatever it maybe, call us. We want to know,” Sheriff Cunningham stated.

“One of the things you'll probably find with these people impersonating officers, they won't bump a siren. They'll just turn on blue lights. A law enforcement officer is going to have sirens to go along with the blue lights,” he added. 

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. 

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