Two Ohio deputies conducting a traffic stop were surprised to find one man inside the vehicle dressed in a homemade police uniform, with a duty belt that included handcuffs and pepper spray, WJW reported.
The other man in the vehicle also was carrying a metal badge, Wayne County deputies said. Both men also were registered sex offenders, WJW reported.
"Certainly any time you pull somebody over and they are wearing a badge and have the word police across the front that's going to cause additional questions on behalf of any officer conducting that stop," Wayne County Sheriff's Office Capt. Doug Hunter told WJW.
During questioning the driver, Erik Brubaker, 35, of Medina, told deputies he was working as a security officer and was expected to be at work that afternoon, WJW reported. He later recanted the story, saying that he had been terminated from a security job.
Brubaker's license also had been suspended, deputies said.
The passenger in the vehicle, Caleb Barnhart, 20, of Wadsworth was questioned separately. When deputies asked what they would find in his text messages, Barnhart said that Brubaker picked him up with the intention of going to Wadsworth to confront a woman who was a witness in a Medina County rape case scheduled for trial later this month, deputies said.
"It appeared that the reason he was wearing this uniform may have been to intimidate this young lady to answer his questions or perhaps to go away with him to some other location," Hunter told WJW.
Brubaker admitted on camera that the woman made accusations against a friend of his, Tanner Davis, 18, of Rittman, and he intended to get her to confess that the accusations were false, WJW reported.
Davis faces one count of rape and has entered a not guilty plea in Medina County Common Pleas Court, according to court records.
Brubaker told authorities that the only place they stopped and confronted anyone while dressed as an officer was at a Burger King, where he said an employee told him the uniform did not look real.
Brubaker was charged with one count of driving under suspension. Barnhart was in the Wayne County jail on a probation violation.