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Tyler man arrested for impersonating police officer

TYLER, Texas (KETK) - A Tyler man was charged with a third degree felony for impersonating a police officer.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, on May 2nd John David Harwood pulled a man over in his Chevrolet Tahoe near Old Bullard Rd. and S. Chilton Ave.

"It has happened before," Tyler Police Officer James Freeman said. "Every couple of years we'll go through this somebody will decide this is fun to do. Of course it's not fun to do."

According to the affidavit, Harwood installed some red and blue lights and a siren on his personal car. The man said Harwood pulled him over and stopped next to him, shouting "if you don't *expletive* slow down, I'm going to *expletive* arrest you!"

He immediately called police, suspecting Harwood was not an officer.

Police say there are ways to determine whether a real officer is pulling you over or not.

"Go to somewhere where you feel safe that's well lit. keep your doors locked, crack your window so you can communicate with the person," Officer Freeman said. "Law enforcement officers are going to come up to your vehicle they're going to identify themselves, they're going to be wearing a uniform."

He also says you can call police to verify it.

"Nothing wrong with calling 911 and saying hey I just got pulled over or I have someone attempting to pull me over, this is where I'm at, do you have anybody working that area?" Officer Freeman said.

People living in the Azalea District say it's concerning.

"Surprised, I'm shocked, I wasn't expecting that."

"I don't like to hear that that's happening at all. We just moved into this community and you'd consider it a fairly safe community."

"Certainly disturbing. We're always concerned about that kind of thing. We'd hope the police would take care of it, sounds like they have."

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement confirmed that Harwood is not a licensed peace officer in the state of Texas.

He was booked into jail on a $150,000. His bond was posted and he was released Wednesday.

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