Police Arrest Juniata Man for Impersonating Officer During Robbery

Police arrested a Juniata Park man last night for impersonating an officer while attempting to rob two people.

Two cousins were sitting at the basketball courts in Juniata Park near K and Cayuga streets when a man approached around 8:15 p.m. with a silver badge around his neck.

The man identified himself as an officer and told the cousins to turn around and put their hands up. As they complied, he searched their pockets and rifled through their wallets.

As the “officer” attempted to handcuff one of the men, he asked him if he had any money. The victim then told the suspect he didn’t believe he was a cop and started questioning him.

The man backed away, jumped into a blue Toyota and fled. The cousins followed him in their vehicle, calling police to give a description as they drove.

Officers caught up with the Toyota at C and Westmoreland streets. They arrested 23-year-old Christopher Cruz of the 4300 block of North Palmetto Street and recovered a fake badge, a pair of handcuffs and a handgun.

Cruz is charged with attempted robbery, theft, simple assault, impersonating an officer, weapons charges and related offenses.

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