Charleroi suspect allegedly faked being cop

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Charleroi man was jailed on Tuesday in Washington County for allegedly impersonating a Southwest Regional Police officer in May when he stopped a car in Union Township under the excuse that it was speeding, police said.

Vincent W. Ambrosy, 22, of Woodward Avenue, allegedly activated a blue and amber light bar atop his Ford Explorer to pull over a man driving on Route 837 on the evening of May 16, said Southwest Regional Police Chief John Hartman. Ambrosy allegedly identified himself as a Southwest officer, warned the driver to slow down, then let him go. Southwest Regional patrols Union Township.

The driver saw the license plate on Ambrosy's vehicle, and police identified it as being registered to the suspect, according to the affidavit filed with the charges.

He was charged with impersonating a public servant, false imprisonment for stopping the driver, unlawful restraint and harassment.

Hartman said Ambrosy confessed to police that he was the fake police officer when he went to the station in Belle Vernon to be interviewed on an unrelated matter. Ambrosy told police he knew the driver of the vehicle he stopped, but the driver did not know him.

The chief said Ambrosy had driven to the police station in the Ford Explorer that was used in the vehicle stop on Route 837.

Police had received reports of other people being stopped by a fake Southwest Regional Police officer, Hartman said.

“We want to see if anyone else had this happen,” Hartman said.

Ambrosy became a volunteer firefighter in Belle Vernon and Bunola, Allegheny County, after he allegedly impersonated a police officer, Hartman said. Officers from the fire departments could not be reached for comment.

Ambrosy was arraigned before McMurray District Judge James Ellis and placed in the Washington County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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