Fake Cop Caused Crash During Bogus Police Pursuit, Real Police Say


Anthony Townsend was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer. - COURTESY ST. LOUIS POLICE
  • Anthony Townsend was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer.

A pretend cop chased a driver through traffic, leading to a crash, authorities say.

Anthony Townsend, 27, of St. Louis was charged on Wednesday with false impersonation of a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor.

Police say Townsend was in his private vehicle on February 27 when he flipped on a set of emergency lights and tried to pull over a Kia Optima in an industrial stretch of East Grand Avenue in the Near North Riverfront neighborhood.

The Kia's driver sped off with Townsend behind him, police say. Other cars pulled to the side of the road during the pursuit, which ended when the Kia lost control and smacked into multiple other vehicles.

It's not clear what led to the bizarre chase. Townsend was taken into custody briefly on Wednesday before posting the $1,000 bail. He is due back in court on April 11.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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