Mo. man charged with impersonating police officer

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PECULIAR, Mo. -- Two 16-year-old Peculiar boys say they feared for their lives after a man claiming to be a police officer pointed a gun at them.

It happened Tuesday evening on a dark road in Peculiar, Mo. Sixteen-year-old Jesse Wright says he noticed an erratic car, the driver flashing his lights, trying to get Wright to pull over.

"He started tailgating me so I kind of break checked him and since I was in a diesel, blew a little black smoke at him," Wright said.

Near home, Wright says he called 16-year-old Austin Miller, telling him to get his shotgun and that he was being followed.

Miller did just that, explaining to Fox 4 how he was feeling at the time. "Am I going to have to shoot somebody tonight," he said.

"The guy jumped out of his car and pointed what I thought was a flashlight at me and kept saying, put the gun down, put the gun down," Wright added.

As it turned out, the flashlight was attatched to a gun. According to court documents, 21-year-old Beaudonovan Martin told the boys he was a DEA agent working for the Cass County Sheriff's Office and he needed to inspect their car, while threatening to arrest them.

"I didn't look at his face or anything, I was looking at his waist once he put the gun down," Wright said.

Miller said, "He wouldn't show us a badge so I didn't know if he was a cop or not."

Both boys said, with a gun pointed at them, they did as Martin said. That's when one of the boy's mother's intervened, asking what was going on.

"The guy said that she was lucky that she didn't see my dead body laying on the ground," Miller said.

Martin left and the boys called police. That's when they learned Martin wasn't an officer and this wasn't the first time he's been accused of doing this.

"It's a serious safety issue for our community when they have someone who is stopping them and impersonating a police officer and is exhibiting a gun," said Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Hensley.

Court documents say earlier in the day, Martin pulled a gun on another man on the same Peculiar road. In that incident, prosecutors say he also pulled out handcuffs before leaving without incident.

Martin is behind bars, charged with felony impersonation of an officer and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

"Our law enforcement makes a point of identifying themselves and identifying themselves well. And they are in marked cars and they are in marked uniforms and they have good ID and certainly they should be able to recognize those things," Hensley said adding, "In this situation he had no police car. He had no lights. And they should call 911."

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