POLICE Impersonator is Sexual Assault Suspect

Wednesday, July 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police are looking for a man they say impersonates an officer in order to sexually assault young women.

It's happened once that they know of and police want the man caught before he strikes again.

Police say the man spends most of his time in the heavily hispanic community near 31st and Mingo. His only known victim lives just blocks from here.

He's dressing and talking like a police officer, and women across the city should be very cautious. It's a common method for rapists to lull women into unsafe situations.

In this case, a hispanic man approaches a young woman outside her East Tulsa apartment. He's wearing a badge, gun and two-way radio and identifies himself as a police officer. The girl knew she didn't do anything wrong. She wasn't doing anything wrong and the impersonator said "you have to come with me." The man forced her into his Nineties model red Geo Storm and drove away.

From there, he sexually assaulted the woman and dropped her off at a convenince store near downtown. Rape counsellors at Tulsa's call-rape center say they've heard stories similar to this way too many times.

Counsellors say women sometimes trust authority figures, like police officers or security guards, and let their guards down. After they're sexually assaulted the victim feels guilty that they were fooled. Only then do they realize the signs they should have noticed about the impersonator.

Counsellors say it dosen't have to be that way. A potential victim should be on the defensive from first contact with a person idenifying himself as an officer.

They suggest that a potential victim should get a card from him. Call the police station and make sure that he really is who he says he is, ask to speak to a superior. No real police officer would hesitate giving you a card if you ask. All police officers must carry picture ID's and must also call their supervisors if asked.

Police are releasing this description of their suspect. He's an hispanic male, with a goatee and ponytail. He's about thirty years old, six feet tall and weighs 150 pounds.

If you have any information about this crime, you can call crimestoppers at 596-COPS, or click here to enter an anonymous tip on-line. If you call, remember you can remain anonymous.