LINDEN – Police arrested an Elizabeth man who allegedly impersonated a police officer and harassed a Linden motorist on Dec. 15, authorities said.
Abed Campos, 37, flashed his high-beams and made hand signals to pull over a 20-year-old Linden resident driving on Routes 1 & 9 in Rahway shortly after 1 p.m., according to Linden Police Detective Lt. James Sarnicki.
The Linden driver pulled into parking lot of McDonald’s on West Edgar Road in Linden, where Campos approached the vehicle, identified himself as a police officer and asked the driver for his identification according to Sarnicki.
Campos, who was dressed in street clothes, did not show a badge or other identification to the driver, authorities said. The Linden man gave Campos his driver license.
When Campos pulled out a cell phone and started pressing the keypad, the driver feared that his personal information was being stolen, he told police. The Linden man took back his license and drove off. At East Linden and South Wood avenues, flagged down a Union County Sheriff’s officer, Sarnicki said.
Campos followed the driver to the intersection, police said. Several Linden police officers stopped to see what was happening. According to Sarnicki, Campos continued to identify himself as an Elizabeth police officer, but refused to show any identification.
When Campos exited his vehicle, he abruptly reached for his waistband, Sarnicki said. The officers believed that he was reaching for a weapon, according to Sarnicki. The Elizabeth man began to flail his arms. Police sprayed Campos with two bursts of pepper spray, then handcuffed and arrested him, Sarnicki said.
Campos was charged with harassment, impersonation of a police officer and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $20,500. Campos was taken to Trinitas Hospital for medical treatment for a sprained wrist and psychological evaluation. His court date is scheduled on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.
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