PATTERSON, Calif. (KTXL) — A Patterson man says he had a run-in with a driver with a badge but California Highway Patrol officers say the driver turned out to be a fake cop.
The driver, identified as Thomas Crowder, was recalled as the mayor of Hughson in 2010 and now he’s in trouble with officers.
“He tried to scare people. Please stop, be honest,” said Canh Tram.
A CHP officer in Modesto says the badge Crowder had is a replica and confirmed he is not a police officer.
“It was really stupid. It was absolutely ridiculous that I did that,” Crowder told FOX40.
Tram said the incident happened on Friday as he was driving home on Las Palmas Avenue near Patterson.
“I told my wife because she’s blind and dialysis. I say, ‘Some car behind me look like they’re drunk,’” said Tram.
Tram said he attempted to pull over to avoid the swerving driver but the light turned red and Crowder’s Ford crashed into the back of his Audi.
“When they hit. He said, ‘Get out and move the car. Get inside. I’m a police man,’” explained Tram.
That’s when Tram said his intuition took over.
“A gut feeling. They tell me a good thing I have picture. If I don’t take picture, probably, he gone,” said Tram.
Tram also tried to get Crowder’s information but said Crowder told him he didn’t have his wallet.
“They had all my information, insurance, ID, because there were no injuries,” said Crowder.
When asked about Tram’s allegation that he smelled like alcohol, Crowder said he doesn’t know about that.
Shortly after the crash, Tram said Crowder left. But with the pictures he was able to take, he used social media to find him.
Within hours, police officers were at Crowder’s door to place him under arrest.
“As ex-mayor, he know the law. Why he play the game with the law?” said Tram.
CHP Modesto says Crowder faces charges for DUI, hit-and-run and impersonating a police officer.
Crowder told FOX40 he plans to fight the charges against him.
The Trams also add that they were injured after the accident.