Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's All Fun And Games… Until It's Not

Alternate Title: Shit like this leads to shit like THIS.

Mo. Chief's Son Charged With Playing Cop

Oct 11, 11:51 PM (ET)

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (AP) - A suburban St. Louis police chief's son was charged with impersonating an officer, more than a week after being arrested for sporting police clothes and pulling motorists over in his dad's unmarked police car.

Ballwin Police Chief James Biederman's son, Paul Biederman, 23, was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of impersonating a police officer, avoiding a more serious charge of felony tampering because the city of Ballwin, which owns the police car, refused to press charges, said St. Charles Country Prosecutor Jack Banas.

If found guilty, Biederman could face up to a year in jail or up to a $1,000 fine.

Banas said his department was still reviewing the case against an 18-year-old who accompanied Biederman when they were pulling over cars.

Authorities said the two men were using the car's siren and lights to pull over motorists and check their licenses on Oct. 1. They both wore cargo pants and shirts with police logos. The chief's son even wore a gun belt with an air pistol that resembled a .40-caliber Glock, police said.

Their fun ended when they pulled over an off-duty St. Charles County sheriff's detective, who didn't believe their story that they were on special assignment with the Ballwin police department.

The two fled and were later arrested at Biederman's home.


Armchair psychology (my favorite kind, and one might suggest is a little like pretending to be a cop, but I digress) leads me to think that Mr. Biederman, who I will remind you is an adult, was playing these little reindeer games for the thrill of power.

It's one thing to dress up like a cop.

It's another to go joyriding in a police car.

It's an entirely other and higher level of thing to start doing traffic stops with your "borrowed" police car.

That is scary.

Okay, so let's just imagine the thrill of doing traffic stops on unsuspecting citizens who are encouraged to follow the directions of law enforcement personnel stops being so exciting after several successful outings.

What do you suppose the next step might be?

Perhaps this?

Fake police officer sought in reservation rapes

By Amanda Lee Myers

Associated Press Writer

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.05.2006

WHITERIVER — At least 10 girls and women have been raped on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation by a man who poses as a police officer, federal authorities said.

Since March, nine girls and one young woman — all American Indian — have been attacked on a trail between two housing projects between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., said officials with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The attacks began in March, but the bureau became aware of them only in August. The agency formed a task force of 10 agents to investigate.

"Once they saw it was involving someone posing as law enforcement, the BIA made this a high priority," said BIA agent Warren Youngman.

Bureau officials said Wednesday they had identified the four newest victims after the task force canvassed the neighborhood where the attacks occurred.

The panel found victims who did not come forward because they thought their attacker was a police officer, Youngman said.

"It has created an atmosphere of fear," Youngman said. "When we did our neighborhood canvassing, we had people afraid of our officers."

According to victims, the attacker wears a dark shirt and a dark baseball cap, both bearing "police." White Mountain tribal police officers' uniforms do include black shirts, but the shirts should show a badge above the left breast pocket and a U.S. flag above the right breast pocket, Youngman said.

There is a $10,000 reward in the case, Youngman said.

The reservation is about 80 miles northeast of Phoenix.


To be clear: I'm not suggesting Paul Biederman has anything to do with sexual assaults on Fort
Apache Indian Reservation.

But I'm very happy that Mr. Biederman's little adventure ended before someone got seriously hurt.

And I'm more than a little sad about what's happened (and might be continuing to happen) in Fort Apache. There are no easy ways out for that one. There are likely more victims who have not come forward. There are likely victims who will not cooperate with tribal police because, well heck, someone claiming to be a tribal police officer sexually assaulted them. I don't think I'd be all that trusting of the police either.



KaraMia said...

I'm with you, I think it would have led to something much bigger in the stakes game. I find it crazy they are not pressing charges.

Eric said...

At first I was a little horrified that they were letting those guys cop a plea. But since no one was actually hurt and it would probably cost the tax-payers quite a bit more for a jury trial if they decided to prosecute them for felonies, it's probably for the best to smack them hard on the hand. This time.

Oh and hopefully Dad will provide a little , um, corrective guidance to his wayward son.