Illinois teen accused of impersonating cop - again

Published on Thursday, 25 July 2013 11:46 - Written by By Don Babwin, The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — A 19-year-old Chicago man is accused of impersonating a police officer — more than four years after he passed himself off as one and even rode around on patrol for five hours.

Vincent Richardson was set to appear in court Thursday afternoon, two days after he allegedly identified himself as a police officer in an attempt to buy police supplies at a Chicago uniform store. He was arrested Tuesday.

In 2009, a 14-year-old Richardson walked into a police station on the city's South Side dressed in a regulation uniform. He was convincing enough that police issued him a radio and assigned him to a squad car.

Richardson spent about five hours on patrol — two behind the wheel — and even helped arrest a suspect who allegedly violated a protection order.

"He brought the arm into the middle of his back so handcuffs could be placed on him," former Chicago police superintendent Jody Weis said at the time.

It wasn't until Richardson returned to the station that his ruse was discovered by a supervisor who noticed that not only was he not wearing a complete uniform, but also wasn't carrying a gun.

At the time, the police department received the most attention, as an angry Mayor Richard Daley and Weis both wondered how a boy not yet in high school could fool so many officers into thinking he was one of them. Several officers were disciplined, and officers were also given a refresher course in recognizing police impersonators.

Richardson was placed on juvenile probation.

Since then, he's been in trouble as a juvenile and an adult.

Richardson passed himself off as an adult at a car dealership and was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle after he was allowed to take a car for a test drive. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said he also received juvenile probation for that.

The office also said Richardson also was sentenced in 2010 to juvenile detention after he stole his uncle's car.

In 2011, he was convicted as an adult of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. According to the state's Department of Corrections, he was sentenced to one year in state prison.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.