Man Accused Of Impersonating Officer

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Police arrested a man accused of posing as an undercover police officer and pulling a 16-year-old girl over for a traffic violation.

Thomas L. Howell, 45, of Canton, was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of impersonating a police officer.

Police said that on March 13, Howell stopped a girl and accused her of running a stop sign.

She told police that the man, who drove an unmarked red van, quickly flashed what looked like a badge and identified himself as an undercover Canton police officer.

He wrote down information from the girls driver's license and said he would let her off with a warning. Police said the man then offered to show her his police uniform in his van. She declined.

Howell was released after posting a 10 percent bond of $1,000. A judge told him he could not possess any police badges.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)