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June 13, 2014

Duncan man arrested after woman says he impersonated a cop

DUNCAN — A Duncan man was arrested Thursday and charged with impersonating a police officer after a Waurika woman complained the suspect stopped her as she drove to work and verbally harassed her.

Austin Matthew Wren, 24,  pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The woman told police she was stopped about a mile south of Comanche on U.S. Highway 81 on May 17 when a black Chevrolet Tahoe with tinted windows and a roof-mounted light bar began flashing its red, white and blue lights.  

The woman said the Tahoe driver wore black pants, black shirt, black ball cap and wore a badge, though he had no gun and duty belt, the arrest affidavit stated.

“The man began yelling at her about the military dog tags hanging from her rearview mirror. He then proceeded to tell her ‘she should die and go to hell for the things she has done.’ After a few minutes, he returned to his vehicle and drove away,” the affidavit filed by Stephens County deputy Zachary L. Mitchell stated.

 Mitchell reported the incident on May 20 and a deputy made contact with the suspect that night after pulling over his 2007 model black Tahoe, which had an expandable baton, a fixed blade knife and two black tactical style flashlights in the door, according to the affidavit.

The suspect told the officer he was employed as a gaming promoter at Chisholm Trail Casino but was transferring to security, the court document stated.

On May 30, police presented a six-photo lineup to the Waurika woman, who chose Wren’s picture, according to the affidavit. When she was shown  a photo of his vehicle, she said it was similar to the one that stopped except a mounted light bar was not attached to the Tahoe in the photo, the affidavit stated.

 During a June 3 search of Wren’s rent house at 1012 Park in Duncan,  police found a number of law enforcement-style items, including  “pants, duty belt, expandable baton, pepper spray, black ball cap with ‘police’

 on the front, multiple handcuffs, leg irons, LED lighting that was identified on the vehicle, name plate, scanner and various other items,” according to the affidavit. “No badge was found at the residence or inside the vehicle.”

Bond was set at $25,000. If found guilty of the crime, Wren could face up to 10 years in prison and be fined up to $10,000.

 

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