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Accused Police Impersonator Claimed to Work out of Nonexistent GCPD Precinct

Man told arresting officer he had wanted to be a police officer all his life.

A Buford man was arrested on Feb. 16 after reportedly claiming he was a Gwinnett County Police officer.

Sugarloaf Mills security contacted the Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) after an employee of Bass Pro reported that another employee of the store had identified himself as a police officer. A GCPD officer located the man, later identified as Zachariah Henry, 27, of Buford, wearing a baseball cap with "POLICE" across the front. Henry was also wearing a holstered Glock 22, handcuffs, two loaded magazines and a gold-plated badge which appeared to be similar to a Gwinnett County Police badge.

Upon questioning, Henry reportedly said he was a police officer and worked for the Gwinnett County Police Department. When the officer asked which precinct he worked out of, Henry allegedly replied "The 13th." GCPD does not have a 13th precinct.

When asked for his police credentials, Henry was unable to produce any and said he had left them at home. While another GCPD officer stayed with Henry, the investigating officer spoke with the witnesses.

One witness, a co-worker of Henry's, advised that Henry seemed excited about the store's new 5.11 tactical gear. The co-worker said her friend asked Henry if he was a "rent-a-cop."

According to the police report, "Henry responded in a defensive manner and said he took offense to [the friend's] comment because he worked hard to get where he was and cops did not appreciate comments like that."

The officer returned to speak with Henry and asked why he had claimed to be an officer when he was not. Henry reportedly said, "I don't know. I guess I got scared."

Henry was placed under arrest for impersonating an officer. While enroute to the jail, Henry reportedly apologized for lying and said he had wanted to be a police officer all his life.

Henry's weapons and police gear were placed into evidence at police headquarters. He was released from jail on Feb. 17 on a $2,950 bond.

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Tammy Osier February 20, 2013 at 02:52 AM
I believe the 13th precinct was on Hill Street Blues. ;)
Kristi Reed (Editor) February 20, 2013 at 03:31 AM
I thought perhaps he might have been thinking of the movie "Assault on Precinct 13." Whatever it was, it wasn't GCPD.
Mitch February 20, 2013 at 02:17 PM
I’m very impressed with this fine young man. He really went all out with the hat, holster, handcuffs, and plated badge. He even got offended by the rent-a-cop statement. An “E” for effort in my book! I’m going to get a stethoscope, some scrubs, and a lab coat with the name tag Dr. Rosenpenis and show up at the nearest hospital with my surgical instrument kit, see if I can perform a couple colonoscopies, maybe remove a few hernias or an appendix. I always wanted to be a surgeon.
Mr. B February 20, 2013 at 04:08 PM
That's already been done, Mitch. I think it was at a hospital in Cincinnati where a "doctor" had been practicing for years before he was found out.

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