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Man Charged with Impersonating Officer After Calling for Backup

November 14, 2003  | 

An Ohio man showed his badge and pulled over a driver who he says cut him off and then gestured obscenely at him, documents show. But authorities say the man who claimed to be a U.S. marshal and radioed local police for backup is not and never has been in law enforcement.

Donald Sebastian, 54, of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has been charged with impersonating a federal agent.

“Who would call for backup?” says U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot. “That is what’s so strange.”

Sebastian, who has a criminal record with 29 arrests since 1975, told investigators, “It made me feel special to put on the marshal’s uniform, even though I couldn’t function as one.” The man’s home contained clothing and business cards that identified him as a marshal. He said posing as a federal officer was his “way of giving back to the community.”

After pulling over a car driven by Douglas Richards, 22, in Strongsville, Sebastian called the Strongsville PD for backup and kept Richards there until an officer arrived, documents show. Sebastian identified himself as a canine officer with the marshal’s service, gave the officer the details of the stop, and drove away. When Strongsville officers called the marshal’s service to follow up, they were told the service doesn’t have a canine officer.

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