Alleged Fake Cop Had Gun, Cuffs, Badges

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DUNMORE -- A suspected police impersonator was arrested Friday in Lackawanna County.

State Police said Charles Zehel of Scranton pretended to be a cop when he pulled over a man on a motorcycle Monday along the Casey Highway which is Route 6.

Troopers said that in itself is concerning but said what they found in the fake cop's truck was even more alarming.

State police said Zehel admits he pulled over a motorcycle on Tuesday because of the way he says the biker was driving, but Zehel is no police officer. Troopers said they found no ties to law enforcement whatsoever.

Zehel didn't respond to our questions but police said they found plenty to concern them that he wanted to be a fake cop.

First, the way he acted along the Casey Highway in Olyphant, turning on flashing lights, pulling over the man on a motorcycle, showing a badge, and then yelling at the biker for the way he was driving.

But that biker got the license plate, leading real officers to Zehel's pickup.

"When we did a search warrant on his car, we found other police equipment inside of the car, concerning to us from the stand point that someone is out there portraying himself as a police officer when he is not," said Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Chris Paris.

The truck is now impounded at the State Police barracks in Dunmore. Inside, investigators said they found a loaded 9 mm pistol, ammunition, handcuffs, a blue flashing light for the roof, and hidden in the front grill, flashing red, white, and blue police lights.

Zehel didn't have a permit for the gun. Police said his lights are illegal, too.

"This was a very serious case to us. Perhaps how long he's been doing that, if they have had contact with him in this illegal manner, that they would reach out to the state police immediately."

Charles Zehel was arraigned on charges of impersonating law enforcement and illegally having a gun.

If you have had any contact with him playing some role related to law enforcement, call State Police at their Dunmore barracks at 570-963-3156.


  • Joe Sledzinski

    I see this guy is sporting a handicap sticker on his rear view mirror! I wonder if he used his cane when he made “his traffic stop.” Prosecute him to send a message. The real police officers have a hard enough time without the likes of this idiot!

  • mdog

    Can he impersonate being a President?
    But seriously i hope he didn’t go to far already with all the
    bodies being found lately.

  • AVW

    He was quite severely abused as a child. Dropped from a window, cut with a knife in the face, and other things. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior for him, but he wasn’t given a fair start to life.

    • AVW

      Like I said, his actions are not acceptable, but consider what you might be like had you been physically abused as a child. He used to burn kittens tails for fun when he was a child. If I were older at the time and had more guts I would have done something about it. Imagine how you might blend in with society if your biological parents cut your face up and dropped you from a window intentionally.

  • Bill

    This is exactly the kind of nut that pulls over a woman and gets her cuffed and takes her some0lace and rapes and murders her! I watch the ID channel and have seen at least 6 different cases of this kind of thing and that is what it progresses to! Why else would he do it? He was getting bolder and bolder about it, it;s a progressive sickness! Thank god they caught him! Way too many crazies around here!

    • Mayor Marion DingleBarry

      Chances are he was just a volunteer firefighter, playing cop. Many of those guys are weirdos, and love putting lights all over their personal vehicles and acting important. He’s pretty creepy for doing this garbage, but I think you may be embellishing the story just a bit.


      I agree – I am scared and Women should be also IF trying to be pulled over by unmarked Police Car on lonely Area, Dial 911 and confirm a REAL COP is behind you, ID does have similar stories, I have seen these FAKE COP stories also, didn’t Ted Bundy pretend once in a while to be cop also ?

      This is SERIOUS it puts distrust in the publics eye about whether or not to pull over for a REAL unmarked cop for fear it could be someone like this. THis guy had NO AUTHORITY to act as a Cop. and the law should PUNISH him hard for this, as it ruins trust in REAL COPS in unmarked cars, NO SLAP ON THE WRIST for this Impersonator, a real stiff sentence and fine PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Does this guy pretend he is a Doctor also ? Now I am scared to be pulled over by an unmarked Police Car

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