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'Communication Gap' Caused Impersonator Misunderstanding

By: KAKE News, Associated Press Email
By: KAKE News, Associated Press Email

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UPDATE: Monday, August 6, 2012

A communication gap caused a misunderstanding over a traffic stop in southeast Wichita over the weekend.

The traffic stop happened near I-135 and Harry around 1 a.m. Saturday.

Lt. Doug Nolte, Wichita Police, said a WPD officer pulled in behind what was believed to be a fake stop by a man posing as Kansas Highway Patrol trooper. The alleged KHP car then quickly sped away using lights and sirens.

But a Sedgwick County sheriff's deputy actually made the legitimate law enforcement stop. The deputy was on different channel with another dispatcher, when he fled the scene to make another call in Derby.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's office said the deputy was driving a sheriff's Crown Victoria. The deputy was in full uniform, including his issued head gear. The deputy was unaware that a Wichita Police officer had mistaken him as KHP imposter.

If you are stopped and question whether or not it is a trooper, KHP said look for these identifying features:

-Trooper’s vehicles will have license plates with a radio number on the front and on the back of their cars. Turnpike trooper’s license plates are different, but they still have the radio number on the front license plate.

-Troopers have a badge with their radio number and name.

-If you’re still in doubt, you can call 911, or reach KHP dispatch at *47 (*HP) for KHP and *582 (*KTA) for Kansas Turnpike.

UPDATE: Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wichita police say that a man appearing to be impersonating a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper early Saturday morning was actually an on-duty Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputy.

A Wichita police officer saw what he thought was a routine traffic stop just after 1 a.m. Saturday at Interstate 135 and Harry and pulled up behind what looked like a Highway Patrol car.

It was originally reported that a man had pulled over a female driver and was at her car when the WPD officer pulled up. Police said the "impostor" ran to his car, turned on a siren and took off at a high rate of speed.

It was confirmed Sunday that who they thought to be an impostor fleeing the scene was an on-duty deputy who got another call while on the traffic stop.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wichita police say an officer interrupted a traffic stop conducted by a man impersonating a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper.

The officer saw what he thought was a routine traffic stop just after 1 a.m. Saturday at Interstate 135 and Harry and pulled up behind what looked like a Highway Patrol car.

A man had pulled over a female driver and was at her car when the officer pulled up. Police say the impostor ran to his car, turned on a siren and took off at a high rate of speed.

The Highway Patrol said none of its troopers were working in that area at the time.

The suspect is described as a heavy-set white man wearing loose-fitting Highway Patrol attire and driving a navy blue Crown Victoria.


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