SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man is accused of posing as a law enforcement officer, threatening a driver with a traffic ticket and then offering a discount in exchange for an online payment.
Kareem Hart, 24, stopped a driver Saturday in a shopping center parking lot, according to a news release from Montgomery County police. Officials say Hart was driving a white Nissan Versa with Allied Security markings. He also reportedly activated a yellow flashing light on the roof of the vehicle while pulling over the driver.
The 20-year-old driver told police he had mistakenly turned the wrong way on a one-way lane.
Hart, who the driver said was dressed in a security uniform, threatened to write a $250 ticket for the violation. But Hart said if the driver would send $50 via an electronic payment app, Hart would not write the ticket. The driver sent the money via the app and left the area to call police.
Hart was arrested later that night, police said. He’s been charged with impersonating a police officer, extortion and false imprisonment. He’s been released on bond.
Police haven’t determined how Hart obtained security company logos and a security uniform.
“He was driving a vehicle with those markings and wearing a security-type uniform but we have not confirmed that he, in fact, works for that company,” officer Rebecca Innocenti told WTOP-FM.
It’s unclear whether Hart had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
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