BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Shock Trauma security guard charged with rape and impersonating a police officer was previously found guilty of impersonating an officer, according to court records.
Richard Stephen Barnes, 50, is expected to appear before a judge Thursday. Authorities did not make charging documents publicly available Wednesday afternoon.
Baltimore City’s Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Barnes pulled over the victim in the 2700 block of North Lovegrove Street In Charles Village last week. He said Barnes identified himself as a police officer, placed the woman in his personal vehicle, and drove off with her.
Harrison said Barnes raped the victim and took her back to Charles Village.
“I was very shocked it happened in this neighborhood,” said Geraldine Martin who lives nearby. “But I think all the cameras around are wonderful. They make me feel safer.”
“My heart goes out to the victim,” said Nicole Young who works near the suspect’s initial encounter with the victim. “I don’t want anyone saying she could have done anything differently. You have to keep your guard up. I’m glad he was caught.”
The investigation lead police to pull 120 squad cars off the streets. They were wrapped in crime tape. All units are now back in service.
Police say they reviewed hundreds of hours of body camera footage and video from cameras in the Charles Village neighborhood before determining the suspect was not a Baltimore officer.
Using license plate reader technology, camera footage from the area, and a hand search of motor vehicle records, police were able to track down Barnes’ vehicle.
“We just want to find the truth… Certainly, we’re relieved it’s not one of our officers,” Commissioner Harrison said.
He praised detectives for “good old fashioned police work” that lead them to “connect the dots.”
A search of court records revealed Barnes has been a security guard for years.
Court records show in 1996, he was found guilty of impersonating a police officer — a misdemeanor —and sentenced to six months in jail. A judge suspended all of it. The incident happened in Woodlawn in Baltimore County. Barnes was cleared of resisting arrest charges at the time.
On Tuesday, WJZ was there as police searched Barnes’ home on Northern Parkway. A neighbor, Pete Theodore, said he always thought Barnes was a cop.
“He’s very friendly and seems like a good family man,“ Theodore said. “I thought he was assigned to the northeast district. He wore a police uniform.“
The University of Maryland Medical Center said Barnes was an employee and not a contractor. They say he is suspended without pay from Shock Trauma.
“We are shocked and saddened by these allegations and are cooperating fully with the investigation,” the medical center wrote in a statement.
No lawyer or representative for Barnes in the rape case was listed in online records.