Detectives with the Fort Worth Police Department are warning women to be on high alert after a man impersonating a police officer stopped a woman and sexually assaulted her. Police are also asking for the public’s help in identifying and finding the suspect.
The assault occurred about 8:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, on Loop 820 at the Team Ranch Road exit, on the west side of Fort Worth. The woman, who was driving a maroon Dodge Ram pickup truck, told police she noticed a black Dodge Charger directly behind her with a white spotlight mounted on the driver’s side door and a red flashing light attached to its roof.
She said that, believing a police officer was trying to stop her, she pulled over onto the northbound shoulder at the Team Ranch Road exit, and the Charger stopped behind her truck. A man got out of the Charger, walked to the woman’s truck, instructing her to exit her vehicle and walk over to the passenger side of the Charger. When she did, the man sexually assaulted her.
The suspect is described as about 6 feet tall with a stocky build. The woman was unable to say what race he was. He wore a dark-colored jacket and dark-colored “jogger style” pants tucked into white high-top Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. He spoke with a southern accent.
The suspect was driving a black, four-door Dodge Charger with tinted windows, tinted “blackout-style” real taillight covers, black wheel rims and Texas license plate on the back. The vehicle also has a “police-style” white spotlight connected to the front driver’s side.
Anyone with any information is asked to call 817-469-TIPS (8477) and reference Report No. 190014768.
The website ArriveAlive offers these suggestions in a post called “Road Safety for Women Driving Alone”:
“Do not assume that an unmarked vehicle with flashing lights is a police car. Keep on driving slowly until you can pull over in a well-lit area such as a fuel station. Park as close as you can to the entrance of the kiosk or a fuel pump and hoot to attract attention.
“Should the vehicle following you be genuine police in it will approach you – When they do, open the window just enough to speak to them and ask to see their police IDs.”
And WKYC Channel 3, the NBC affiliate in Cleveland, posted in 2017 telling women not to follow the instructions of a post popular on Facebook at the time to “Dial 112” if they were being pulled over by an unmarked police car. Instead, the station’s VERIFY project encouraged, dial 911.