| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Chicago teen again accused of impersonating officer

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Vincent Richardson, 19, of Chicago helped arrest a suspect when he posed as a police officer in 2009.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, July 25, 2013, 7:57 p.m.

CHICAGO — A Chicago man who as a 14-year-old fooled a station full of police officers into letting him drive a squad car is now accused of trying to pass himself off as an officer to buy police clothing, equipment and even a badge.

Vincent Richardson, now 19, appeared in court on Thursday on a felony charge of impersonating a peace officer and was allowed to be released on his promise to appear in court Aug. 15. Richardson didn't enter a plea; a $25,000 bond was issued, which he will owe if he doesn't make his court appearances.

Richardson was arrested Tuesday afternoon after he went to a Chicago police uniform store — dressed in what looked like police-issue cargo pants and a white shirt — and tried to buy other uniform items, including a nylon utility belt, cargo pants and cargo shorts.

Richardson told the store employee he was an officer, assigned to the 7th District on the city's South Side, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said Thursday. But before the purchase could be made, and for a reason Antonietti didn't explain, Richardson walked out of the store without the merchandise — or his ID.

A store employee did some investigating: “He Googled the defendant's name,” Antonietti told the judge.

What the employee read about unfolded on Jan. 24, 2009, when Richardson walked into a station on the city's South Side, dressed head-to-toe in a police uniform. He was convincing enough that he was issued a radio, assigned a squad car and told to hit the streets with another officer.

Richardson spent about five hours on patrol — two behind the wheel of the police cruiser — and even helped arrest a suspect who allegedly violated a protection order.

Richardson was dubbed “Kid Cop,” but the police department received the bulk of the media's attention, with a livid then-Mayor Richard Daley and former police Superintendent Jody Weis wondering how a 14-year-old boy who didn't even have a driver's license could pass himself off as a police officer. Several officers were disciplined, and several were given a refresher course in recognizing police impersonators.

The uniform store employee read enough of Richardson's story to pick up the phone and call police. When Richardson returned later Tuesday, real officers were waiting to arrest him.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Chicago mayor fires police chief in wake of video release
  2. Defense chief: U.S. expanding special operations force in Iraq
  3. New York City’s salt warning rule to take effect at chain restaurants
  4. ‘Homeland’ to hair: Emails peek into Hillary Clinton’s personal life
  5. Storm dumps snow on Northern Plains
  6. EPA increases ethanol in gasoline supply for 2016
  7. Suspect in Colorado clinic attack Dear makes court appearance
  8. Supreme Court’s election-year lineup rich in high-profile cases
  9. New Navy destroyer Zumwalt’s seaworthiness questioned before sea trials
  10. Opposition mounts to genetic modification of human embryos
  11. Cleveland panel OKs lakefront Superman statue