Cass County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Beaudonavan Martin, Jr., 21, of Peculiar on two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of false impersonation of a law enforcement officer on May 5.
Investigators believe that at approximately 7:30 a.m. April 30, Martin followed one victim in a black Dodge Durango and confronted the victim about driving too fast on Harper Road near 243rd Street.
The victim stated that Martin was holding a gun and a pair of handcuffs while he yelled at him about driving too fast.
During a second incident at approximately 11:30 p.m. the same day, two people reported being followed by the same vehicle on C Highway, south of Peculiar. The vehicle, driven by Martin, followed them to a residence on S. Harper Road where he confronted them and identified himself as a deputy sheriff.
The victims stated that he pointed a gun with a flashlight attached to it and told them they were in trouble for their driving.
When officers arrived they made contact with the victims, who reported that Martin began tailgating them and flashing high beam lights on C Highway.
At the residence, Martin exited his vehicle and stated he was a deputy sheriff. In his right hand, Martin had what appeared to be a flashlight, but was later confirmed to be handgun with a flashlight attached. He told the victims that they were in trouble. One of the victims asked to see the man’s badge, and replied, “I don’t have to show you anything.”
The suspect claimed to be a DEA agent working for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office investigating a hit and run. After looking at the victim’s vehicle, Martin said they were lucky he did not arrest them and left the scene.
The victims in each case picked the suspect out of a photo lineup.
Investigators served a search warrant at Martin’s residence, located in the 10000 block of E. 243rd south of Peculiar on Friday morning and took him into custody.
Martin in currently being held in the Cass County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
Although investigators remain unsure of a motive, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office reminds individuals that if they are unsure of a suspicious vehicle or person pulling them over to call 911.
“It’s a serious safety issue for our community when someone who is stopping them, impersonating a police officer and exhibiting a gun,” Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley said. “Our law enforcement makes a point of identifying themselves, they have proper ID, are in uniform and drive marked cars. In this situation he had no police car. He had no lights. And they should call 911.”
In addition, the Sheriff’s Office is also reminding the public of what they can expect when being pulled over:
• The majority of traffic stops are conducted in marked vehicles driven by deputies dressed in full uniform.
• Marked Sheriff’s Office vehicles are always equipped with red and blue lights, which are always activated during traffic stops.
• While rare, an undercover deputy or detective wearing plain clothes may conduct a traffic stop in an unmarked vehicle, using red/blue-colored lights. The lights in these vehicles can be located inside the grill or in the vehicle’s interior.
• Deputies are required to carry identification at all times and drivers have the right to ask them to see that identification.
• A driver should never exit his/her vehicle during a traffic stop, unless they are asked to do so by a deputy.
• When conducting traffic stops, members of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office usually approach the vehicle they have pulled over in a reasonably prompt fashion. They always identify themselves as members of the Sheriff’s Office.
Major Jeff Weber said that police impersonation is relatively rare but that people should follow their instincts.
“This is not frequent,” he said. “But it is serious enough for everyone to be aware.”
If anyone has experienced a similar incident they are encouraged to call the Cass County Sheriff's Office at 816-380-5200.