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Troy Bacon charged with impersonating a police officer during March traffic stop.

BaconSherwood Police have arrested a Portland State football player after he allegedly impersonated a police officer in Tigard last month.

Police arrested Troy Matthew Bacon, 20, on Tuesday, April 19, on a charge of criminal impersonation after he allegedly pulled a woman over along Pacific Highway and told her that he was an off-duty officer from California.

Officer Chris Pierce with the Sherwood Police Department was returning from an investigation in Portland on March 22 at around midnight when he saw a car parked in the road, blocking traffic at Pacific Highway and Southwest Greenburg Road, the department said on Tuesday.

Police said that a white Dodge Charger was blocking a Honda Accord in the roadway, and Pierce said he saw a man yelling at the driver of the Honda.

The officer stopped to lend assistance and said the man identified himself as an off-duty police officer. The man, later identified as Bacon, claimed that he had stopped the woman for speeding and reckless driving.

Pierce became suspicious, police said, because the Dodge Charger was a rental vehicle with no emergency equipment or police lights, police said.

Police said Bacon showed Pierce his badge, which had “junior probation officer” written on it. Bacon allegedly told police that he worked part-time for the Riverside County Sheriff's Office, in California.

Bacon is a sophomore at Portland State University, and is an offensive lineman for the PSU Vikings.

Bacon is a native of Oak Hills, Calif., not far from Riverside County. Sherwood Police initially stated that Bacon was a resident of Boise, Idaho. Bacon played football for two years at Boise State University but quit the team midway through last season before transferring to Portland State earlier this year.

"We are aware of what happened, but at the moment it’s a personal thing he’s dealing with," said Mike Lund, a spokesman with PSU. "We're waitng to see what the resolution to that is before we make any punishment or anything."

PSU has confirmed that Bacon has been suspended from the team indefinitely, until the legal matter has been resolved.

A Washington County Grand Jury returned a secret indictment this week, issuing a warrant for Bacon’s arrest.

Bacon was booked at the Washington County Jail on Tuesday morning. According to Sherwood Police his bail was set at $10,000.

Captain Mark Daniel, a spokesman with the Sherwood Police Department, said it isn’t clear what, if any, connection Bacon has to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.

“He’s definitely not a cop,” Daniel said. “He’s not old enough to be a police officer.”

No motive has been released, but according to his profile on the Portland State football website, Bacon said that he “would like a career in law enforcement.”

Bacon contacted Pamplin Media Group on Tuesday evening and said that much of the information released by Sherwood Police was false. When asked for specifics, Bacon declined to comment, but suggested that most of the facts released by police, including reports that he was driving a rented vehicle, were inaccurate.

"It makes me sound like a bad person," he said.

Bacon declined to comment further but said he was "a well respected person" in the community and would clear his name.

In a statement, Sherwood Police said that impersonating a police officer is a serious offense.

“The Sherwood Police would like to remind the public that those who impersonate police officers erode the public’s trust in law enforcement and may endanger unsuspecting people,” said Daniel.

Daniel said that there are several things people can do to ensure that the police officer they are speaking with is legitimate.

“Look for a uniform, official department jacket, and other equipment used by police officers for the performance of their duties,” Daniel said. “If the officer is in plainclothes, look for identifying clothing and equipment. If unsure, explain to the ‘officer’ that you are unsure about the situation and ask them to display official department identification and badge. Ask where they work and if you can contact their dispatch center to confirm their identity. You may also request a marked patrol unit respond.”

When getting pulled over, drivers should also try to stop in a well-lit area or a location where there are a lot of people present, Daniel said. Drivers should turn on their emergency flashing lights, but not turn off the engine and not step out of the vehicle to meet the officer.

“If they immediately tell you to get out of the car without any preliminary questions, be suspicious,” Daniel said. “Trust your instincts. If they don’t seem to be a real police officer they are probably not.”

Portland Tribune Sports Editor Steve Brandon contributed to this report

By Geoff Pursinger
Assistant Editor
The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood
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