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Man who allegedly impersonated public servant arrested

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

Henry County deputies arrested a man for reportedly driving around with active police emergency lights on his vehicle.

According to the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, an off-duty deputy contacted the Henry County Sheriff’s Department around 5 p.m. Tuesday to report an unmarked SUV was driving up and down CR 300 North “running signal 10,” meaning it was using flashing red and blue lights.

The deputy told on-duty responders the vehicle only had lights on the front of the vehicle and none on the back.

The off-duty officer reported the vehicle drove westbound on 300 North, drove a lap through Pebble Beach and then continued westbound.

According to the incident report, the green SUV still had red and blue emergency lights activated.

An on-duty HCSD deputy responded to the trailer park and located a vehicle fitting the description parked on Betty Jean Lane.

As deputies were approaching the home, 21 year old Elvante Riddick, a Yorktown resident, reportedly came outside.

According the HCSD, Riddick told deputies that it was his vehicle. Riddick reportedly told deputies that he worked at the New Castle Correctional Facility and that he did not have police powers within Henry County.

Riddick reportedly told the deputies that he installed the lightbar on his SUV that day and wanted to try them out.

According to Indiana law, blue and red lights are only allowed on authorized emergency vehicles.

Riddick reportedly told deputies he was in a hiring process for the Indiana State Police and was “just getting a feel for what it was like” to drive with the lights on.

Riddick reportedly also had a radar detector on the dash of his vehicle.

Riddick told the deputies that he was a reserve officer in Greensfork, the report said.

The number he gave deputies for the town marshal reportedly went unanswered.

Deputies contacted Henry County Prosecutor Joe Bergacs who advised them to determine whether or not Riddick was truly a reserve officer and if he had police powers while off-duty.

Wayne County’s dispatch center was contacted for possible information on Riddick as a reserve officer.

The car number that Riddick gave the deputy reportedly did not match the numbering format that Greensfork officers use for their vehicles.

According to the HCSD report, neither the Wayne County dispatcher nor Greensfork Town Marshall Rick Bush had ever heard of Riddick.

The Henry County deputy reported that he was in the process of contacting Chief Bush when Riddick, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the HCSD patrol car, allegedly said, “Stop, I’m lying.”

Riddick then reportedly told the deputy that he had no affiliation with any police department.

According to the report, Bergacs advised that a charge of “Impersonating a Police Officer” would be a Level 6 Felony, while “Impersonating a Public Servant” would be an A Misdemeanor.

The arresting deputy told Bergacs that he was more comfortable charging Riddick with a misdemeanor than a felony, noting that “Mr. Riddick seemed like a nice young man who is eager to become a police officer and made a mistake.”

Henry County deputies removed the lights, radar and a radio from Riddick’s vehicle after placing him under arrest.

As of Wednesday morning, Riddick was still incarcerated in Henry County Jail.