An Indiana woman is facing felony charges that could land her in jail for three years and cost her her job because she refused to pull off the road for a sheriff’s deputy on a dark country road.
DelRea Good, 52, was charged with resisting arrest after she drove to a lit parking lot rather than pull over immediately. She had waved out of the window to acknowledge she saw the policeman, and she had turned on her hazard lights. It is not uncommon for motorists to drive to a safer place on the road when a policeman turns on the flashing lights.
“I felt I didn’t do anything wrong,” Good said. “I got to a safe place and I told him that.”
Good’s ordeal began with a routine traffic violation for speeding on a country road outside of Portage, Indiana, The Northwest Indiana Times reported. She was going 54 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone when Porter County Sheriff’s Patrolman William Marshall activated the lights on his patrol car.
Since it was 11:21 at night, Good did not want to pull over on the dark road, out of fear for her safety. Instead, she drove about half a mile to a lighted parking lot at a Kohl’s department store so she could see if she was dealing with a real officer or a police impersonator.
Experts say if you suspect a police impersonator may behind you, you should call 911, acknowledge the car’s presence by motioning out of the window, turn on your hazard lights, and then drive at a safe speed to a well-lit area.
‘I’m a Single Female’
“I don’t care who you are. I don’t have to stop on a county road, I’m a single female,” Good reportedly told Marshall. Marshall claimed that Good’s actions put her and others in danger.
Once at the parking lot, Marshall handcuffed her and took her to jail where she was booked for resisting an officer. Good alleged that Marshall bullied her at the jail and that he tried to claim that Advil he had found on her was a controlled substance.
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Her attorney said her concerns were warranted. In 1991, a woman pulled over on Valparaiso, Indiana, thinking a police car with flashing red lights was behind her, only to be attacked by someone impersonating an officer.
If she is convicted of a felony, Good could lose her job as a nurse. Good told The Times that she has no criminal record.
“The sheriff’s office supports our officer’s decision in this matter,” Sergeant Larry LaFlower, a spokesman for the Porter County Sheriff, told The Times. The newspaper did not say whether prosecutors would pursue the charges against Good.
Resisting arrest can be considered either a Class D felony or a Class A misdemeanor under Indiana law. A Class D felony is punishable by six months to three years in jail or a fine of up to $10,000 in Indiana. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine up to $5,000. In Indiana, the judge decides if resisting arrest is a felony or a misdemeanor.
Police Impersonation is a Growing Problem
Good’s concern about a police impersonator is a valid one.
On March 29, a Dodge Challenger with flashing lights pulled an unidentified woman over on Interstate 225, a busy freeway in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado. The vehicle was driven by two men in uniforms who forced the woman to give them her keys, electronic devices and her wallet. The fake police officer even had a handgun in a holster and a pair of handcuffs, The Denver Post reported.
The two men are now suspected of robbery and police impersonation by the Aurora Police Department.
“This is serious,” Good said. “This could be your mom, your sister, your daughter next time.”
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