News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2005


Hes a discriminating thief or a dangerous nut

The young man who stopped motorists and acted like a police officer here last week is proof that all of the screwy stuff doesn't take place in California.

He sounds as if he's lost touch with reality and is living in a fantasy world. Or as authorities said, he may be an addict using a novel way to look for illegal drugs.

Driving a 1995 blue Firebird, he stopped two male motorists before dawn on separate days, accusing one of having left a drug house. After searching the motorists and their vehicles, he allowed them to go their way.

He neither robbed or physically threatened either motorist, which suggests the 25- to 35-year-old white man may simply have been playing cop.

But, he could also have been looking for drugs.

While some law enforcement vehicles are unmarked, legitimate officers still flash a standard red, white and blue flashing light sequence to identify themselves.

These two motorists apparently felt compelled to stop even if the man used unorthodox methods to pull them over. They are lucky.

Police advice is not to pull over for anyone you don't know. Police make their identity known quickly to establish their authority, and in some cases, to reassure the motorist.

This man, whatever his reasons for impersonating a policeman, deserves severe punishment, or he needs help for mental illness.

Wacky things happen more often in big cities only because they have greater population.

Be careful out there.

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