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Kansas man charged with impersonating police officer in Kansas City, Missouri

Posted: 5:06 PM, Jul 21, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-23 02:11:10Z

UPDATE: Willie Zimmerli, 51, of Mission, Kansas, has been charged with false impersonation of a police officer and driving while on a revoked/suspended license.

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Kansas City, Missouri, police said they have a man in custody Thursday accused of impersonating a police officer.

Authorities said at 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday, a victim was pulled over on westbound Interstate 70 near the Interstate 435 exit by a silver Ford Crown Victoria with a small flashing red light on the dash.

The victim said the suspect exited the vehicle and approached the front driver door of his vehicle. The victim observed the suspect holding an unknown type firearm in his hand, dressed in plain clothes.

According to police, the suspect stated, "Slow down buddy."  The victim asked, "Are you even a real police officer?"  The suspect stated, "Yes."  The victim asked, "What agency do you work for?" The suspect stated, "Don't worry about that buddy, just hang tight."

The victim said that the suspect then began walking back to the suspect vehicle. At that time the victim became suspicious and began merging back into traffic on I-70.  The suspect entered the suspect vehicle and began following the victim in traffic.

Police said the victim was able to elude the suspect by merging with traffic and eventually get behind the suspect's vehicle and get a picture of it with his phone. The victim continued to follow the suspect until the suspect abruptly merged across several lanes of traffic and exited the highway at an unknown exit.  The victim continued to his destination, then phoned the police to report the incident.

Investigators are currently pursuing charges.

What to do if it happens to you

KCMO police said if someone is unsure they are being pulled over by a police officer, they should call 911 or drive to a police station or populated public space and call 911. A KCPD officer will have clearly identifying police markings on their uniform, clothing or a badge. A KCPD officer will also quickly identify their agency when asked.

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