WEST CHESTER TWP., Ohio (FOX19) - A newly released 911 call from the woman who reported a police impersonator pulled her over and assaulted her in West Chester reveals she also told authorities he tried to rape her.
The 911 call sheds new light on the case and creates a heightened sense of urgency about a public safety situation police initially announced to the public as a warning about “an incident of a person impersonating a police officer.” They also said there was no 911 call associated with the incident.
“Hi, um, I was just on Union Centre Road and I was stopped by someone that had, like, police lights,” the woman says on the 911 call, according to a copy released to FOX19 NOW when we put in a public records request.
“I’m not sure that he was a police officer. He came into my car and then, like, he tried to rape me and then....and then he said that if I called anyone....he said that if I called anyone he would arrest me.”
Listen to the call:
The woman reported the incident in the Auto Zone Parking lot nearly 90 minutes after she said it occurred at 6:10 a.m. Wednesday on Union Centre Boulevard near Princeton-Glendale Road (Ohio 747), an incident report shows.
Police put out a warning, saying they were advising the public they can call 911 to verify that a law enforcement officer is making a traffic stop and they were investigating the incident.
They said the man had red and blue flashing lights on his SUV and they use only blue lights.
They also said the suspect wore all black, a short sleeved shirt with no badge or identifying patches and a blue mask.
They described him as about 30-years-old, 5-foot 8 and 150 to 180 pounds with brown hair in a buzz style cut.
The suspect approached the victim’s car and acted as if he was a police officer, according to her 911 call.
Police have been otherwise tight-lipped about the case, releasing few details Wednesday.
It was not clear the woman also initially reported the alleged police impersonator assaulted her until the incident report came out. When we tried to follow up with police and a township spokeswoman Wednesday night, we were told no further details being released.
The victim told police the man “hit me multiple times,” according to the 911 call.
Sgt. Paul Lovell, and a township spokeswoman, Barb Wilson, also initially said there was no 911 call associated with the incident.
Lovell said the call came in on the police department’s non-emergency line.
Those calls have been taped for years. FOX19 NOW has requested and received others previously.
So, we followed up Thursday morning and requested all calls related to the incident.
Shortly after, the township spokeswoman released the 911 call.
She then released a lengthy statement to FOX19 NOW:
“We wanted to follow-up in the case reported yesterday from West Chester Police Department. Our primary goal yesterday was to make the community aware that they have options and tools when being pulled over by law enforcement. If there is ever uncertainty, motorists need to know that they can turn on their hazard lights and slow down as acknowledgement and go to a safe place before stopping. They can also call 911 to have a dispatcher confirm that it is, in fact, an officer pulling them over.
“We had few details regarding the specific case that led us to make this public awareness report and still have few to offer. The case is being thoroughly investigated by West Chester Police and additional information will be provided when we are able to do so.
“I have attached a 911 call to this email. Yesterday, we were under the assumption this call came in on the non-emergency line because it came 1.5 hours after the reported time of the incident. The time the incident was reported to have happened was 6:10 a.m. The 911 call came in at 7:31 a.m. We apologize for the confusion yesterday. We know that it is our obligation to release 911 calls ASAP. Therefore, the call is attached.
“As reporters, you are aware that scanner traffic doesn’t always accurately reflect what is actually found when officers arrive at the scene. It is information relayed by a caller to an emergency dispatcher to guide appropriate response to a scene.
“An incident report, as provided yesterday, reflects the information relayed by the victim to the responding officer. West Chester Police are thoroughly investigating the incident.
“When we have more information to provide, we will provide it.”
On Wednesday, Lovell left open the possibility the suspect was a legitimate police officer who just didn’t have a “legitimate task,” in which case “we need to know what they were doing out there and what was going on.”
But then he said he doesn’t believe the scenario to be likely and West Chester police are investigating the incident as an impersonation.
Lovell said Wednesday he could provide no further details on the victim or the suspect.
“Any time you have an individual that takes it upon themselves to put lights on a car and go around stopping people, that is concerning,” Lovell said. “And that is why we want to educate the public that a majority of the time, it is going to be an actual police officer behind you.”
If you are pulled over in a dark, desolate location and do not feel safe, police say to turn on your hazard lights, slow down, and let the 911 operator know you will be stopping at a well-lit, public location.
Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to contact the West Chester police tip line at 513-759-7272.
Tips may also be submitted online through the department’s anonymous tipline by clicking here.
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