Hays County authorities are warning motorists of a police impersonator who conducted a third illicit traffic stop in east Kyle last week.
The latest incident took place March 27 when Hays County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an Impersonating a Public Servant call at 8:30 p.m. that evening. The call marked the third incident reported to the HCSO since mid-March.
A male motorist, who was not identified, informed authorities he was traveling on FM 2001 near Windy Hill Road when a pickup truck, which had begun to follow him, activated red and blue emergency lights.
The motorist said he thought he was being pulled over for a traffic stop, according to the release. The motorist said he thought he had been stopped by a peace officer, but he promptly drove away when he saw the suspect, who was wearing shorts and a t-shirt at the time of the stop. The truck did not follow the motorist, according to the release.
The suspect is described as a white male approximately 5’9”″ tall with a medium build and medium length dark hair. The suspect was wearing shorts and a t-shirt at the time of the stop.
Jeff Barnett, Kyle Police Department chief, said there have been similar police impersonator reports in the city “over the years.” However, he said there have not been any reports of police impersonators in the city within the last six years.
Barnett said there are two possible motives for these kind of cases – someone who may want to identify themselves as law enforcement and someone who wants to perpetrate other crimes, such as robbery, assault or sexual assault.
In the case of identifying as a police officer, “they want that authority over someone and place them in fear,” Barnett said. He added the first type often role plays as police.
Motorists who may find themselves questioning the legitimacy of a traffic stop should turn their hazard lights on, reduce speed and stop in a well-lighted area. Those who are still concerned should call 911 to check on the legitimacy of the stop and listen to instructions.
Barnett said if a motorist is in a situation where the stop is not legitimate, the best advice is to leave the area quickly, he said. The goal is to avoid a conflict with the suspect, or worse, the potential for a conflict with a law enforcement official.
“Should someone find themselves stopped by someone who is not a lawful police officer, the citizen has a right to protect themselves,” Barnett said. “But the best advice is to leave the area quickly.”
Anyone with information relating to this incident should call the Hays County Sheriff’s Office at 512-393-7896. Residents with information can also contact their local law enforcement department.