BENTON, AR - An investigation is under way into a possible police impersonation case.
The Benton Police Department (BNPD) says on Saturday night around 8:30, a woman told officers she was pulled over near the intersection of Jackman St. and Airlane Dr. by what appeared to be an undercover police car. It was described as being an older model, dark colored four door car with one blue light on the front dash.
The man who got out of the vehicle and walked up to the woman's car is described as a white man about 30 years old with a southern accent. He reportedly asked for her license and registration without identifying himself or stating why she was pulled over. The woman became uncomfortable about the stop and told the man she was going to drive to a nearby gas station. Instead of following her to the station, the man turned off the blue light, turned around and drove off in the opposite direction.
Detectives are still in the process of determining whether it was possibly an officer with another agency since county and state officers have jurisdiction to stop motorists in the city as well.
The BNPD says it wasn’t one of its officers and that the agency does use undercover vehicles occasionally for traffic stops. Those vehicles have numerous blue lights and other emergency equipment installed on them instead of one light on the dash.
The BNPD is advising people to do a couple of things if they are unsure whether it’s an actual police officer pulling them over in an unmarked car.
- First, they can immediately call 911 and the dispatcher will be able to quickly tell them whether it’s an actual officer stopping them.
- If they don’t have a phone on them, they can proceed slowly to the nearest, populated area such as a gas station, grocery store, or even the police department if close by.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Benton Police Department at (501) 778-1171 or (501) 315-TIPS. Anonymous crime tips can be texted to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text. A crime tip can also be submitted via www.crimereports.com, or with the official Benton Police Department app found on ITunes and Google Play.