A man impersonating a police officer tried to make a traffic stop while driving in New Jersey just days before Christmas but it turns out he chose the wrong car -- a police sergeant from a nearby station, police said.
Richard Goldrick, 68, was driving on the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel Township, N.J. on Dec. 21 when he activated the emergency lights in his 2013 black Chevrolet Suburban and attempted to pull over Sgt. Charles Stab, who was driving his personal vehicle, a Dodge Durango, according to New Jersey State Police.
Stab, an overnight sergeant at the Woodbridge Police Department in Woodbridge Township, N.J., was driving to work in moderate traffic when a car flashed its high beams at him, indicating for him to move, he told ABC News today.
"I wasn’t trying to prevent him from going forward," he said. "[I] just couldn’t go anywhere."
Stab thought he was being stopped by an undercover officer, the police report states. It wasn't his first time being stopped by an unmarked car, he said.
Once both cars were stopped, Goldrick drove past him and took off at a "high speed," Stab said.
“I immediately knew something wasn’t right," Stab said.
He had an inkling that the driver was a "fake police officer," so he caught up to him on the highway to obtain his license plate number.
"I don’t know why he slowed down after he was driving like a maniac," Stab said of the driver. "I‘m sure this is not the first time he’s done this."
Once Stab called state police, he resumed his commute to work, he said.
The next day, Goldrick was taken into custody at the Holmdel Township Police Department and charged with impersonating a police officer, possession of a weapon, and possession of false government documents, including police badges and placards, New Jersey State Police told ABC News.
Police seized a .22 caliber handgun, hollow point ammunition, and fraudulent documents from inside Goldrick's car.
Stab offered advice to drivers who feel unsafe during a traffic stop.
"What I tell people is, if you’re really uncertain, drive at a slower speed, put the hazard lights on, call 9-1-1 and continue to drive [until the dispatcher informs you otherwise]."
Goldrick was held at the Monmouth County Jail in lieu of a $52,000 cash bail. It is not clear if he was released.