INDIANAPOLIS — For at least the second time in a matter of weeks, IMPD has arrested someone for impersonating a police officer.
In this latest case, 57-year-old Arthur Wright is facing a felony charge of impersonating a public servant. According to court filings, the investigation began when Wright flashed a “badge” to the man working the door at the Brickhouse Piano Bar in Broad Ripple in order to avoid the cover charge.
That got the attention of the bar’s manager who reported it to an actual off-duty officer who was working security for the bar.
“This individual was engaging in conduct that appeared to those involved to be that of a police officer,” Lt. Shane Foley said.
Court filings reveal that after questioning him, the officer saw Wright get into a white Ford Crown Victoria which he referred to as his “patrol car.” Detectives also learned that Wright had previously introduced himself as “Sergeant Artie.”
Police say they discovered that Wright was working security at the nearby Broad Ripple Bistro and saw his Crown Victoria parked outside the establishment. Officers approached him and placed him in handcuffs.
Court documents reveal that officers found a badge in his wallet as well as handcuff keys. Inside the vehicle, they discovered a police radio, another badge and IMPD parking placards.
Police also learned that his Crown Victoria was registered to the City of Indianapolis. IMPD said Tuesday that investigators are looking into the possibility that Wright purchased it at a public property auction.
“It is concerning for us. It should be concerning to members of our community,” Lt. Foley said. “We wanted to be clear that when an IMPD officer is taking action that [members of the community] are engaging with an IMPD officer.”
Earlier this month, in a separate case, IMPD arrested a man for impersonating an officer after police say he pulled over an unmarked IMPD vehicle. Foley said people should be able to spot who is a real cop and who’s not.
“Our officers, even when they’re not in full uniform, they will have something that indicates they are a police officer,” Foley explained. “Not security, not just something that says sergeant, but it will say police on it.”
The Marion County Prosecutor’s office filed a motion to continue Wright’s initial hearing, saying they intend to file more serious charges than what he was originally arrested for.
Wright is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday morning.