CHICAGO (AP) — Vincent Richardson of Chicago, who as a 14-year-old fooled a station full of police officers into letting drive a squad car, is now accused of trying to pass himself off as an officer to buy police clothing, equipment and even a badge.
Vincent Richardson, now 19, appeared in court Thursday on a felony charge of impersonating a peace officer, and was allowed to be released from custody on his promise to appear in court Aug. 15. Richardson didn’t enter a plea; a $25,000 I-bond was issued, which he will owe if he doesn’t make his court appearances.
Richardson was arrested Tuesday afternoon after he went to a Chicago police uniform store — dressed in what looked like police-issue cargo pants and a white shirt — and tried to buy other uniform items, including a nylon utility belt, cargo pants and cargo shorts.
Richardson told the store employee he was an officer, assigned to the 7th District on the city’s South Side, Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti said Thursday. But before the purchase could be made, and for a reason Antonietti didn’t explain, Richardson walked out of the store without the merchandise — or his ID.
A store employee did some investigating: “He Googled the defendant’s name,” Antonietti told the judge.
What the employee read unfolded on Jan. 24, 2009, when Richardson walked into a station on the city’s South Side, dressed head-to-toe in a police uniform. He was convincing enough that he was issued a radio, assigned a squad car and told to hit the streets with another officer.
Richardson spent about five hours on patrol — two behind the wheel of the police cruiser — and even helped arrest a suspect who allegedly violated a protection order.
“He brought the arm into the middle of his back so handcuffs could be placed on him,” former Chicago police superintendent Jody Weis said at the time.
It wasn’t until Richardson returned to the station that his ruse was discovered by a supervisor who noticed that not only was he not wearing a complete uniform, but he also wasn’t carrying a gun.
Richardson was dubbed “Kid Cop,” but the police department received the bulk of the media’s attention, with a livid then-Mayor Richard Daley and Weis wondering how a 14-year-old boy who didn’t even have a driver’s license could pass himself off as a police officer. Several CPD officers were disciplined, and several more were given a refresher course in recognizing police impersonators.
Some months later, Richardson again passed himself off as an adult, this time at a car dealership where he test-drove a Lexus and kept on going.
The state’s attorney’s office said a judge placed Richardson on juvenile probation for both the impersonating a police officer charge and possession of a stolen vehicle charge.
He has been in trouble at least twice since then, sentenced once to juvenile jail for stealing his uncle’s car and then a year in prison when as an adult he was convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
The uniform store employee read enough of Richardson’s story to pick up the phone and call police. When Richardson returned later Tuesday, real officers were waiting to arrest him.
During their search of Richardson’s belongings, officers determined that the store was not the only place where Richardson was allegedly shopping for police gear.
According to Antonietti, officers discovered Richardson was carrying a receipt for a Chicago police badge and badge holder that had been purchased online.
Richardson was represented by a deputy public defender, who told the judge that Richardson is a high-school graduate who is attending college and working at a security company.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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