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.