A Buford man was arrested on Feb. 16 after reportedly claiming he was a Gwinnett County Police officer.
Sugarloaf Mills security contacted the Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) after an employee of Bass Pro reported that another employee of the store had identified himself as a police officer. A GCPD officer located the man, later identified as Zachariah Henry, 27, of Buford, wearing a baseball cap with "POLICE" across the front. Henry was also wearing a holstered Glock 22, handcuffs, two loaded magazines and a gold-plated badge which appeared to be similar to a Gwinnett County Police badge.
Upon questioning, Henry reportedly said he was a police officer and worked for the Gwinnett County Police Department. When the officer asked which precinct he worked out of, Henry allegedly replied "The 13th." GCPD does not have a 13th precinct.
When asked for his police credentials, Henry was unable to produce any and said he had left them at home. While another GCPD officer stayed with Henry, the investigating officer spoke with the witnesses.
One witness, a co-worker of Henry's, advised that Henry seemed excited about the store's new 5.11 tactical gear. The co-worker said her friend asked Henry if he was a "rent-a-cop."
According to the police report, "Henry responded in a defensive manner and said he took offense to [the friend's] comment because he worked hard to get where he was and cops did not appreciate comments like that."
The officer returned to speak with Henry and asked why he had claimed to be an officer when he was not. Henry reportedly said, "I don't know. I guess I got scared."
Henry was placed under arrest for impersonating an officer. While enroute to the jail, Henry reportedly apologized for lying and said he had wanted to be a police officer all his life.
Henry's weapons and police gear were placed into evidence at police headquarters. He was released from jail on Feb. 17 on a $2,950 bond.
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