By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Playing a policeman recently proved to be no joke for a 30-year-old Romulus man.
It landed him in police custody about 1 p.m. Nov. 5 when police arrested him outside TCF Bank, 3350 Fairlane Drive, where he had told a clerk he would return that day to take her to lunch.
Police had received complaints from several TCF branches that the man had entered area banks wearing a knit cap and shirt with the word “police” in white lettering on them, as well handcuffs, a baton, a badge and a holstered gun.
An unregistered sex offender, he has been arrested in other states for impersonating a police officer and does not have a valid driver’s license.
A surveillance team of both plainclothes and uniformed police officers saw the man enter the bank lot in a red Ford F-150 at 12:50 p.m.
Since he then entered the bank wearing a facsimile police uniform, and visibly wore handcuffs and a holstered gun, officers decided to take him into custody for violating the Michigan penal code.
When police pulled up to the bank shortly after he had entered, the man quickly exited the bank; he then was ordered to the ground at gunpoint.
The man hesitated at first, saying, “It’s not a real gun.” He again was ordered to get on the ground and place his hands at his side, at which point he complied, saying, “I’m not a real cop, I was just playing a joke on someone.”
The man then was handcuffed, and his handgun, handcuffs and baton were taken into evidence. Police determined the gun was a Taurus pellet gun.
The man said to the officers, “I’m not wearing a badge. Why am I being arrested?”
The man also had a jewelry box with a wedding and engagement band in his pocket.
The truck was towed to the police station. The man also was cited for driving an unregistered vehicle with invalid license plates and without a valid license. He also had a plate designation only valid for police.