YORK COUNTY, SC – A York County teenager is now in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice after being charged with impersonating a police officer. The 17-year-old male was stopped by York County Sheriff’s Deputies early Sunday morning as he was in the act of stopping a car near the South Carolina state line. Deputies were patrolling in the area of north Hwy. 161 after at least four different people reported being stopped by a black Dodge Charger with red and blue strobe lights.
The teen was wearing a police-style ballistic vest and a law enforcement-style duty belt with handcuffs and a holster. The holster contained an airsoft plastic pistol with the orange safety tip painted black. When asked by deputies why he was stopping cars, the teen responded, "for the fun of it."
"Traffic stops can be one of the most unpredictable and dangerous aspects of a police officer's duties," said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. "We’re thankful no one was hurt, especially this young man. Our deputies explained to the juvenile the seriousness of his actions and how dangerous his behavior could be."
The teen admitted to deputies stopping at least six different cars in the area of north Hwy. 161 and Battleground Rd. One victim told deputies the teen accused them of driving 120 mph.
“If you want to be a real police officer, do so properly fill out an application with us, we’re hiring,” said Sheriff Tolson.
The safety of our citizens is our number one priority; if you ever feel uncomfortable, especially late at night, when getting stopped by police, call 9-1-1 to confirm with dispatchers that it is truly one of our officers making the stop.
The juvenile was petitioned to family court and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.