Police said Friday they have arrested a suspect in connection with an incident in Holmesburg in which two men impersonating police officers stopped a pickup truck and handcuffed the occupants.
Michael Green, 30, of Glenside, Montgomery County, was charged with impersonating a police officer, aggravated assault, robbery and related offenses.
On Thursday, police said three men riding in a Chevy Silverado pickup truck were stopped on the 4300 block of McMenamy St. at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday by two men who were posing as officers. The fake officers had arrived at the scene in a Chevy Malibu that had blue and red flashing lights on its grille.
During a struggle with the ersatz lawmen, one of the victims suffered a broken arm, Lt. John Stanford said Thursday at a news briefing at police headquarters at Eighth and Race streets.
The victims were handcuffed inside the pickup truck but managed to escape and notify police, Stanford said, although the attackers made off with the truck.
Besides their vehicle, the victims were relieved of a couple of cell phones, the lieutenant added. One of the two phony cops, both of whom were black, wore a shirt with the word “POLICE” on the front of it.
At about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and about two miles away, a Toyota Camry pulled up behind a Northeast man’s vehicle in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven on the 9000 block of Frankford Ave. The Camry had flashing lights on its dashboard, Stanford said, and the occupant impersonated a police officer.
This time, real officers happened to be nearby and arrested Julian Collins, 22, of the 2600 block of Welsh Road, Stanford said. He said police don’t know if the two incidents, similar as they were, are related.
Anyone who is stopped by police can ask to see an officer’s badge and Police Department identification, the lieutenant said. If stopped by police in an unmarked vehicle, motorists should put on their hazard lights and drive to a well-lighted location.
Motorists who are not sure they are being stopped by real officers should call 911, ask for a marked unit to come to the scene, give their location and stay inside their vehicle, Stanford said. ••
Reporter John Loftus can be reached at 215-354-3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org