Rapist Impersonates Police Officer

While the following information, which was circulating by email, does
show up on urbanlegends.com, it is considered very sound advice, and
mostly true, by the email watchdog group (see urbanlegends.com comments
below the article). Urban Legends also offers alternative advice to
dialing #77 on your cell phone, if the service is not available in your
state or local area.

#77 On Your Wireless Phone

Lauren was 19 yr. old and in college. This story takes place over the
Christmas/New Year’s holiday break. It was the Saturday before New Year’s
and it was about 1PM in the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a
friend. An “UNMARKED” police car pulled up behind her and put his lights

Lauren’s parents have 4 children (high school and college age) and have
always told them never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of
the road, but rather wait until they get to a gas station, etc., so
Lauren had actually listened to her parents advice and promptly called
#77 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not
pull over right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was
an unmarked police car behind her with a flashing red light on his
rooftop. The dispatcher checked to see if there where police cars in the
vicinity where she was, but there wasn’t. He told her to keep driving,
remain calm and that he had back up already on the way.

Ten minutes later 4 police cars surrounded her and the unmarked car
behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the
car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the
ground … the man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes.

Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a “safe”
place. You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them
(i.e., put on your hazard lights, turn signal) or call #77 like Lauren

Comments from www.urbanlegends.com (Link: http://www.urbanlegends.com):
Dial #77-Rapist Impersonates Police Officer

We [Urban Legends] were unable to confirm that this exact incident really
happened, but we did find news reports from around the U.S. detailing
similar crimes and attempted crimes ‹ including rape ‹ perpetrated by
drivers impersonating police officers in unmarked cars.

Using your cell phone to contact a police dispatcher (as advised in the
email) is also an option, but be aware that the “dial #77″ option does
not work in every state. If you aren’t sure, dial 911 instead. (Contact
your local/state police or the American Automobile Association for
specific information about emergency cell phone numbers in your area.)

Some police departments do, therefore, recommend using caution if you’re
pulled over by an unmarked vehicle in a secluded area after dark. You
should communicate your intention to stop by slowing down and turning on
emergency flashers or a turn signal, they suggest, then drive to the
nearest well-lit, populated area before stopping. If you’re still
suspicious, keep your doors locked and only partially roll down your
window when the officer approaches. Ask to see a badge and photo ID.

updated: 04/22/02

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