ARMED AND FRIGHTENING: Man impersonating an officer pulls woman over in Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A Huntsville woman was on her way to work Wednesday morning, driving down South Memorial Parkway like she always does. She saw blue flashing lights in her windshield, was pulled over and assumed an officer was going to ask for her license and registration, but quite the opposite happened.

"I made the mistake in thinking this kind of thing doesn't happen," said Brittany Laird, the driver in this situation.

A car was swerving in and out of traffic, almost hitting Laird and two others, and then that car flashed their blue lights.

"I see in my rear view mirror he is angry, very angry, but he comes up to my window and begins to scream in my face about how I wouldn't let him pass," Laird said.

Laird assumed it was an undercover Huntsville police officer, but his reaction showed otherwise.

"He was frightening me. I asked him not to yell at me and he says, 'What?!' As if he didn't hear me and I repeated myself one more time and he continued to just tear into me before saying 'be safe' and stormed back to his vehicle," Laird said.

The man was wearing a black polo that said 'police' but a department was not distinguished. He had a visible pistol but no way to verify his status as an officer, which isn't the case for HPD.

"They have Huntsville Police insignia on their clothing, even though it's not an actual uniform," said Lieutenant Michael Johnson with Huntsville Police. "They have their badge and gun. It's also our policy that they identify themselves immediately."

Lieutenant Johnson wants to remind everyone that you can call HPD or 911 to verify if an officer is real or not, and you don't have to pull over right away if that means staying safe.

"If you feel that the stop may be suspicious for any reason, look for a well-lit place number one if it's dark look for a well-lit place to pull over an opportunity where it's public there could be witnesses there," Johnson said.

Lieutenant Johnson is confident this was not a Huntsville Police officer and says an impersonator could face a class C felony.

If you have any information on any suspicious activity like this, be sure to call the Huntsville Police Department at (256) 722-7100.

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