It’s sure gettin’ spooky out there these days:

“A Ewing man was arrested Thursday on charges of police impersonation, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office announced.  John C. Williams [had modified] his Chevrolet SUV to look like a police vehicle with a working siren, tinted windows, police-type strobe lights in the front and back, police markings and decals, the sheriff’s office said.  Williams was arrested near his home on the 100 block of Crescent Avenue after a routine [!] search of his SUV turned up handcuffs, official Mercer County Prosecutor’s placards, State Police work clothes and an empty police-style pistol holster. Williams was charged with illegal possession of handcuffs, receiving stolen property and impersonating a police officer.  His SUV was impounded.”


What?!!??  Wait, it’s Halloween!  Nobody’s ever heard of a ghost car?  Here the poor guy was just getting his prize-winning holiday costume all together when …  along comes the Sheriff to ruin everything.  This sounds like the start of a great novel by Chester Himes (although he’d also make it work as a subplot if he had something tastier simmering on the stove’s biggest burner).  The police impersonator was a staple figure in the twisted shakedown/con schemes regularly confronted by protagonists Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones.  But for Himes, the black man’s American reality was always infinitely more absurd than the wildly improbable Harlem tales he concocted to make a living while in Europe during the 50’s and 60’s.

Unfortunately for Mr. Williams, reality has once again trumped fiction this week.  Will Robin Lord attempt a Halloween defense?  She’s likely to hear “Boo!” from the judge.



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