RENO, NV - Police officers, in uniform and out, in marked and unmarked vehicles, on duty and off, are a 24/7 presence in our community.
They're doing their job keeping us safe and we're duty-bound and legally required to assist them with our cooperation.
It doesn't happen often, but it's possible for someone to try to take advantage of that relationship.
At about 10:30 Saturday night, an 18-year-old woman dropped by an ATM at South Meadows Parkway and I-580. She was approached by a man who identified himself as an off-duty police officer and said she'd been acting suspiciously.
He ordered her into his car, which had flashing lights. Then on the pretext of searching her, he began groping her.
She pushed him away and asked for a marked vehicle. The incident was over. She left and called police.
Kenneth Leander Crockett was arrested a short time later. He was booked on a charge of battery with intent to commit sexual assault, kidnapping and impersonating an officer.
"Anytime someone impersonates a police officer," says RPD spokesman Officer Tim Broadway, "it's not only dangerous for the person that they're encountering, but it's also a liability for the city of Reno and the Reno Police Department."
Broadway says if you're driving, slow down, signal look for a well-lit area. Ask yourself if you were breaking the law.
You have the right to ask for ID and there are limits on personal searches in the field.
"Especially if you're a female. You can ask for a female officer to respond or at least have a supervisor or another officer respond to the scene.
The biggest thing is, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Get on the phone, call 9-1-1, try to stop in a well-lit area."