Man who allegedly pulled over off-duty officer charged with impersonating a police officer

A Pittsburgh man has been charged with impersonating a police officer after allegedly attempted to stop an off-duty officer by using red emergency lights.

According to the complaint, an officer was on his way to work around 10 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Darragh and Terrace streets in Oakland when a vehicle behind him attempted to stop him using emergency red lights.

The officer pulled over, then saw that it was not an emergency vehicle. The driver, who police later identified as Patrick Barton, 30, then turned off the lights and went around the officer, driving on, according to the complaint.

Barton was driving a silver van. Another officer called to the scene pulled him over and Barton allegedly said he was an assistant chief for a local department and that’s why he was using the light. Barton said he was not responding to an active fire scene, according to the complaint.

Channel 11 spoke with some people in Oakland, who said incidents like this make them feel uneasy.

“You hear stories like this a lot nowadays. It’s just scary,” said Sophia Gardner.

“It scares me because of my mom. She still drives. If they pull her over, she would just go, ‘Okay!’ said Robert Sparber, who lives in Beechview.

Sparber believes a step in the right direction to address recent crime is for the city to prioritize its police force.

“Respect them. Hire more. Pay them more. They put their life on the line every day. Pay them,” Sparber said.

Police said there were active warrants out for Barton. He was charged with possessing an instrument of crime and impersonating a public servant.


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