The Grand Traverse Sheriffâ??s Office is asking for help from the public in identifying the suspect of a police impersonation occurring on May 19 in Garfield Township.
The sheriffâ??s office released a sketch of the man Friday. The suspect is described as a white male, 25-35 years old, 5â??6 to 5â??9, in fair physical condition as well as slightly overweight.
He has a full head of brown hair approximately 2â?? long and brown eyes.
The 35-year-old victim told deputies she was driving on Harris Rd near Lone Tree Rd when she saw a white vehicle behind her. The suspect was holding a flashing red and white light inside the vehicle.
" She assumed initially that this may be a police officer and did what she should do, which was pull over to the side of the road," said Captain Randy Fewless.
The vehicle was not marked as a police car.
The woman pulled over and the suspect approached her car.
He identified himself as a detective but did not affiliate himself with a specific police agency.
The suspect asked the woman why she ran the red light but the woman was confused due to the lack of red lights in the area.
The victim proceeded to ask if she could see the suspects badge in which he could not provide.
" The individual told her that she was not who he was looking for and return to his vehicle at that point," said Capt. Fewless.
The victim saw the man drive westbound on Cedar Run Rd. The victim then called 911 who confirmed that he was not who he said he was.
"The victim in this case did the right thing," said Capt. Fewless.
According to the sheriff's office, the vehicle is described as a white passenger car, possibly a newer four door Mazda or Toyota, with a manufacturer emblem on the front resembling wings. The red and white lights appeared to not be attached to the car.
The sheriff's office and the Traverse City Police Department both use unmarked vehicles occasionally. Capt. Fewless says any flashing lights will already be connected to the vehicle and will never be held by the driver like in this situation.
Capt. Fewless says there are a number of reasons why they did not report the incident until more than one month after the fact. He says investigators needed more time to additional interviews with the victim, and to put the information out to surrounding law enforcement agencies to see if they had any leads on the suspect.
"We d id develop a significant lead initially, which we wanted to exhaust prior to putting information out so that any evidence that the suspect may have, did not disappear so to speak," said Capt. Fewless. "We were able to exhaust that lead."
Capt. Fewless says they also needed to schedule a time for a Michigan State Police sketch artist to come and draw the victim's description of the man.
The Grand Traverse Sheriffâ??s Office Detective Bureau is asking anyone with information to call (231) 995-5002 or Silent Observer at (231) 947-TIPS.