March 11, 2013
A Nelson County man is accused of impersonating a police officer, and pulling a gun out at a shopping center.
Charlottesville Police say, Sunday morning, March 10, around 1:20 am, 28 year-old Vasco Degama Wright II drove up to a man at the Barracks Road Shopping Center, said he was a police officer and the victim had broken the law.
Police say Wright pulled out a handgun and grabbed the victim as he ran into a store.
Wright drove away when the victim called police.
He was arrested on the 1500 block of University Avenue a short time later.
Wright faces charges of impersonating a police officer and brandishing a firearm.
He has been released on bond.
Police say it's important to be able to recognize a true officer from and impersonator by a few obvious signs.
Lieutenant Ronnie Roberts, Public Information Officer for the Charlottesville Police Department, said, "We identify ourselves as to who we are. We identify ourselves as officer "so-and-so" from whatever agency and the same would happen if you were stopped by any other law enforcement. We teach them how to approach and how to communicate with the individual that we are dealing with. An explanation is provided to them as to why they are being stopped."
Lt. Roberts also said that a police officer will always have a bade on that says "police" or "trooper". If it says "security" they are not an official police officer.