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January 31, 2008
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Texas phony cop stun guns woman

Updated Story: Texas woman makes up 'cattle prod' story

By Kimberly Durnan and Matt Goodman
The Dallas Morning News

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Related: Protecting the public from LE impersonators

MESQUITE, Texas — Mesquite police were searching Thursday for a man who posed as a police officer, pulled a woman over and shocked her with a stun device.

Shelby Lee Knight-Lacey told police she was pulled over at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on Interstate 635 at Town East Boulevard by a man driving a white vehicle that looked like a police cruiser with red and blue flashing lights on the dashboard.

The man was wearing a blue uniform with no patches or badge and wore a hoop earring in his left ear, Lt. Steve Callerman said.

"He walked up to her and said, 'Get out of your car' and she asked him what she did wrong," Lt. Callerman said.

Ms. Knight-Lacey became suspicious when she saw the earring and a spider tattoo on the back of his right hand, so started to roll up her window.

The man then stunned Ms. Knight-Lacey with what she described as a "cattle prod" but police said was likely a "stun baton" or two electric probes on a long stick. She managed to drive away.

"She's OK," Lt. Callerman said.

The man is described as black, slim, around 5-foot-9, with a scar on the left side of his neck and the spider tattoo on his hand, police said.

Lt. Callerman said the public should ask for identification when being pulled over by an unmarked vehicle.

"There are some agencies that use unmarked vehicles," Lt. Callerman said. "We don't for this reason. Ours are marked with stripes so there will be no question."

This was the third reported case of a police impersonater in North Texas area in past nine days.

On Jan. 23, a woman reported she was pulled over and searched by a man impersonating an officer in the 5100 block of Rufe Snow Drive, North Richland Hills police said.

The woman was driving into a parking lot when she saw flashing blue and red lights on a white four-door vehicle, North Richland Hills police said. She was then approached by a man wearing a dark-colored shirt who had no identification that he was an officer.

The woman told police “North Richland Hills” or “Richland Hills” was printed on the passenger side door in large block type letters.

The man took down information from the woman’s driver’s license and proceeded to search her car and purse. He then asked a series of questions the woman deemed to be inappropriate, North Richland Hills police said. She called authorities immediately after he left.

“If they truly believe that it is not an officer because there is nothing that identifies them as such, call 911,” said North Richland Hills Police investigator Larry Irving.

The woman described the man as 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 30 to 35 years old with strawberry blond hair and a stocky build. Anyone with information should call police at 817-427-7000.

On Jan. 25, Hurst police responded to a report of a teen posing as an officer. A 17-year-old has been charged for impersonating a public servant, said Lt. Mark Schwobel of the Hurst Police Department.

Copyright 2008 The Dallas Morning News

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