The next time you’re in a car, and you are stopped by a police officer, make sure to ask to see the policeman’s badge — through the window. As a Norfolk County criminal defense attorney, I know — You can never be too sure of who you are dealing with. People can fairly easily impersonate a police officer, to your detriment. It is a serious offense, despite what you have seen in movies and on television.
This past week, an Everett man was charged with a wealth of criminal offenses, including allegedly impersonating a Boston police officer. The man, John Perry Carrington, 44, was arrested on Monday around 12:30AM. Here’s what allegedly occurred: A Dorchester couple was reported to be driving in their car, enroute to purchase medicine for an asthmatic child. While driving, they allegedly made a U-turn and cut off Carrington’s car. Carrington then allegedly blocked their vehicle with his car, flashed them some sort of police badge, identified himself as a police officer, and told the couple he thought they were driving drunk.
Things are alleged to get even worse from that point. Carrington is reported to then have seized the couple’s cellphones, and told the couple he would follow them home, where he allegedly wanted to be paid $100 in cash, so that they could supposedly avoid a police citation. Reportedly, he even forced the couple to stay in their car at their home on Callender street in Dorchester, despite their requests to provide the medication to a child suffering an asthma attack.
Carrington is also said to have called Boston Police, and allegedly pretended to provide dispatchers with information on the couple. He allegedly also accepted $20 in cash. Police officers arrived on the scene, and arrested Carrington with extortion, impersonating a police officer, armed robbery, larceny by false pretense, kidnapping in Boston, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in Boston.
Remember, accused persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
Regardless, watch yourself out there. And always ask for proper ID from anyone claimign to be a police officer. Do Not allow anyone claiming to be a law enforcement officer to “flash” a badge. If you are outside a car, ask the officer to show you his badge closely, for 30-60 seconds. If you are in a car, crack the window no more than an inch, and ask the officer to hold his badge up against the the driver’s window (for 30-60 seconds. No responsible and ethical law enforcement officer – and the vast majority of police and law enforcement officers are honest, ethical persons – will refuse this request.