Alleged Police Impersonator Reported on I-35 Outside Ellendale
Over the weekend there were two different incidents in which there was a report of an alleged police impersonator outside of Ellendale.
According to a Public Safety Announcement from the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office, two incidents were reported late Saturday evening into early Sunday morning right off I35 near Ellendale. In the first reported incident, the victim was parked in a parking lot and a vehicle pulled up next to him that was described as an older Dodge Durango with a loud exhaust as well as being dirty. The driver of the Durango was described as a male, around 30 years old, with a medium build and dark hair. He identified himself as an Iowa Deputy. When the victim called 911 as he was not comfortable with the exchange, the suspect left before law enforcement arrived.
The second incident took place about 90 minutes later, right on I35. A passerby reported that they saw a vehicle, with flashing lights and a car pulled over.
This is scary to think about, if you are getting pulled over for any reason, you want to know that it is a licensed peace officer who is the one you are dealing with. You are well within your rights to find a well-lit area at night, as well as calling 911 to make sure that the officer who is attempting to pull you over is legit. The dispatchers will know. You can ask for the officer's identification.
I reached out to Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele about this, as it happened in Steele County. He let me know that there is an active investigation being conducted by the Steele County Sheriff's Office, The Minnesota State Patrol, The Freeborn County Sheriff's Office, and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Steele County T.I.P. Line at 1-866-878-7964. And, again, if something feels off about a traffic stop, call 911.