A 17-year-old Michigan girl who said she was stopped by a fake police officer last week confessed to fabricating the entire story, officials with the Wynadotte Police Department said.
On Monday, Police Chief Brian Zalewski said Faith Gentry, 17, confessed to lying about the incident after being interviewed by Southgate police detectives. Now the department says it plans to file charges against the young driver.
Gentry told police she was pulled over on Fort Street last Thursday by a man posing as a Wynadotte officer. She said the man, whom she described as a tall African-American, never asked for registration or proof of insurance during the stop.
“He did have a badge on his shoulder and the button-up (shirt) and the belt,” she told local station FOX 2 Detroit last week. “But the only thing on his belt was a gun.”
Gentry alleged the “officer” had pulled her over for a broken blinker signal and claimed that he couldn’t see her license plate clearly. She said the cop told her she was getting a ticket, but that it would be mailed to her.
Gentry said she knew something was off, however, after Wynadotte police informed her that there were no African-American officers on their force.
“I was kind of in shock I didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Police launched their search of a Black man Gentry described as 6 feet tall with a slim build and scruffy facial hair. She also told authorities the suspect was driving a black Ford Fusion with the word “police on the side in gray faded letters,” FOX 2 reported.
It all turned out to be a hoax, however. Investigators with Southgate police reviewed the teen’s story, which they said “was not matching up with the facts,” and questioned her about it, after which Gentry confessed to making up the entire story and said it never happened.
“Public safety is our main concern and we cannot have or tolerate (hoaxes) and fear being put into our residents minds,” a statement from Southgate police read. “The police officers out working the streets of Downriver cannot do their jobs (efficiently and effectively) with this type of behavior.”
Gentry was charged with false report of a misdemeanor, according to Click on Detroit. She was arraigned in Southgate district court on Tuesday and has a pretrial hearing scheduled for March 8.
A personal bond was set at $25,000.