Unfortunately, being hassled or, worse, sexually assaulted by a fake cop happens often enough that the Corona Police Department is giving citizens tips on how to protect themselves from this scourge.
The department is responding to the latest case, which happened sometime last month: A woman says she was pulled over and assaulted by a 6 foot, 1 inch 30-something man who was in a dark vehicle with a red spotlight.
According to police, …
… the attack by a man in a uniform, but without clear police markings, happened about 2:30 a.m. on Railroad Avenue near Sheridan Street in Corona:
The suspect directed the female to drive a short distance to a dark street where he forcibly assaulted her inside his vehicle.
Fox 11 News reported that another area witness reported seeing a similar police impersonator in a blue, patrol-style vehicle Sept. 7.
According to a Corona police statement, here's what you can to protect yourselves from creeps like this:
• Check if the police officer is in a marked police vehicle.
• See if the officer is in uniform. If the officer is not in uniform, request a uniformed officer.
• Remember, that if you really doubt the identity of someone trying to pull you over, you should proceed to a well-let, busy place such as a gas station, fast food place, convenience store, or police station. While doing so, turn on your four way flashers to notify the officer that you are aware he or she is trying to pull you over.
• Check if they have a badge.
• Ask for identification. Police carry identification clearly identifying them and their agency.
• Call 911 if you believe it’s a fake.
Nothing's foolproof when it comes to safety, but this is a start.
Oh, and if you think you might know who that suspect with a “large build” is, detectives want to hear from you: 951-279-3623.