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LI man accused of impersonating cop

October 20, 2008 10:43:06 AM PDT
Suffolk County police have arrested a West Babylon man for allegedly impersonating a police officer at the scene of a disturbance. Authorities say 28-year-old John Downey was called by a person involved in a dispute in Medford on Sunday at approximately 3:30 a.m. Downey apparently arrived wearing a bulletproof vest, a police shield on a chain around his neck, a holster and handcuffs. He allegedly approached Sixth Precinct Lieutenant John McGarvey, who had responded to the scene after police were called. Downey identified himself as a police officer and produced identification as a Veterans Affairs Federal Police Officer.

Police say McGarvey doubted the validity of Downey's claim and took him into custody. After an investigation by Sixth Squad detectives, Downey was charged with Criminal Impersonation 2nd Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. He was also charged with Unlawfully Dealing with Fireworks for having an air-propelled pistol in his possession.

The investigation is continuing. At this time, police say it is unknown if Downey interacted with the public. At the time of his arrest, Downey was driving a 2002 gray Ford Explorer, which was outfitted with an emergency light bar and laptop computer. Detectives are asking anyone who had contact with Downey to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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