Police in Alpharetta arrested a Coweta County man for impersonating an officer after he was nabbed driving a Ford Taurus outfitted with emergency lights.
Investigators found a policeman’s gun belt, a fake emergency medical technician’s badge, handcuffs and an air-powered BB gun in the car, according to the arrest report.
The driver, 22-year-old Alexandru Kitchens-Law, claimed he was a volunteer firefighter for an EMS company. But officers later talked to one of Kitchens-Law’s friends who said the man told him he was an Atlanta police officer and tactical SWAT Team paramedic.
Kitchens-Law, of Lakeside Way, Newnan, was charged with impersonating a public officer or employee, failure to obey a traffic control device, unauthorized use of emergency equipment, driving while license suspended and acquiring license plate to conceal the identity of a vehicle.
According to the report, Alpharetta patrol officer Phil Ritchey spotted Kitchens-Law driving down Haynes Bridge Road in a black Taurus with flashing red LED lights in the front windshield and rear windows. Ritchey stopped the vehicle after it ran a red light.
The report noted that the vehicle had a reflective sticker on its bumper similar to the decal number on emergency vehicles. Kitchens-Law told Ritchey he worked for Central EMS, a private ambulatory company, and he was called in for a shift. He said he was rushing to his home in Atlanta to fetch his uniform. He claimed he was allowed to have the emergency lights because he’s a volunteer firefighter.
Kitchens-Law told Ritchey he’d recently moved to town from Charlotte, North Carolina, and he forgot his wallet and credentials at home. He could not produce a valid work ID or a state-issued permit for the lights, saying one wasn’t required in North Carolina, the report indicated.
He provided police the name of his supervisor who allegedly called him in for work. When Ritchey called Central EMS to confirm Kitchens-Law’s story, an actual supervisor said she’s the only one who calls medics in and she hadn’t done so that evening. The supervisor said Kitchens-Law didn’t work for the company and there were no employees with the name he provided to officers.
That’s when police became suspicious of Kitchens-Law’s story. Ritchey asked him about a gun belt that a backup officer found on his passenger floorboard.
“Because me my friends we all go and hang out and we have always wanted to be police officers and we do stupid -----,” the suspect replied, according to the report.
He later explained that they shot at targets and practiced tactical maneuvers. Kitchens-Law said he’d always wanted to attend the police academy but couldn’t because of past substance abuse and mental issues.
Police later learned that Kitchens-Law’s driver’s license was suspended and he was arrested for impersonating a police officer in North Carolina last year.
Police found an envelope in Kitchens-Law’s car with one of his friend’s name written on it. Officers contacted the friend, a 23-year-old Alpharetta man, who said Kitchens-Law had just left his home with his emergency lights on. He said the suspect claimed he is an Atlanta policeman and was rushing to an officer-involved shooting in the city.
That was enough for officers to arrest Kitchens-Law. After he was taken into custody, Kitchens-Law’s roommate called police and said the suspect stole his license plate. The man said Kitchens-Law asked to use the plate to make his vehicle “look more official,” according to the report. The roommate said he thought Kitchens-Law was joking until he realized he actually swiped it.
Ritchey questioned Kitchens-Law at the police station. He admitted that he lied to friends about being an Atlanta Police Department SWAT medic. He said he pulled behind a stranded vehicle the day before, pretending to be a paramedic, and stood by with the motorist until a Georgia state trooper arrived on scene.
According to the report, Kitchens-Law admitted to lying about working for Central EMS and said he made up the name of his fictitious supervisor. Police had his car towed and seized the emergency lights, gun belt and police-related items found in his vehicle.