Police: Man posed as vice detective, robbed man outside Indianapolis bar

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William Merritt

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4, 2014) – Two vice detectives weren’t who they claimed to be, a man found out the hard way outside a bar on the southwest side of Indianapolis.

Around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, the man was working on his truck behind Whiskey River Bar, 2910 S Lynhurst Dr., Indianapolis, when a Ford Crown Victoria approached him. The vehicle stopped and two people got out. They asked him “where the dope and guns were at,” according to court documents.

The man replied that he didn’t know what they were talking about. The men then identified themselves as “vice cops.” The man was skeptical and asked them to show him their badges. They replied, “(expletive) you, we’re vice cops and we get paid to do this (expletive),” according to court documents.

The man’s original inclination was to get away in his truck. After going a short distance, he stopped in front of the Whiskey River Bar after noticing the car had a sheriff’s association license plate. The men told the victim to sit on the curb and then searched his truck for “drugs and guns.”

They took his cell phone and $13 in cash, the man said. After the encounter, the man tracked down Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers and told them what happened. Police found a car matching the description at the Waffle House in the 2600 block of Lynhurst Drive.

The car had a sheriff’s association license plate on the back and a “thin blue line” plate on the front. The trunk also had a “thin blue line” sticker on it. The man said the driver–later identified as William Merritt, 28–was one of the supposed “vice cops.”

Formal charges against Merritt were filed Wednesday. They include robbery, impersonating a public servant and criminal confinement.

It was unclear why the second man wasn’t facing charges.