NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk police have confirmed that an alleged cop impersonator who approached two young girls Tuesday evening is a police officer.
A family contacted 10 On Your Side Tuesday saying that a stranger wearing a badge reportedly approached two young girls as they walked on W. Ocean View Avenue.
It reportedly happened around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, near the intersection of 8th View.
Norfolk police spokesperson Melinda Wray confirmed Wednesday that this person who talked to the girls was an officer.
Wray says the officer was on this way home from work, was still in uniform, and reportedly saw several young children playing in the road — one of which was almost hit by a car.
He stopped to talk to them about the dangers of playing in the street, according to Wray.
The officer continued home from work after making sure the children were out of the roadway.
Shelia Worley told 10 On Your Side Tuesday that she was watching her 7-year-old granddaughter and a 9-year-old friend walk from one apartment complex to another.
She then reportedly observed a man, appearing to wear a patch-like badge, exit a gray-colored pickup truck and approach the girls.
“If I wasn’t standing there, she’d be gone right now,” Worley said Tuesday.
Worley said she could hear the stranger say, “I’m a good guy” to the young girls.
“I yelled, ‘girls come here now,’ and when they started running towards me … he jumped back in the truck and took off.”
“It made me feel kind of scared,” the 7-year-old girl said.
The family phoned 911 around 5:35 p.m. and again at 6:15 p.m. They were upset by the fact that an officer responded after 7 p.m.
“Where did [the stranger] go?” asked the 7-year-old’s mom, Ashley Tobias. “How far could he have gotten? It’s been almost two hours since we called the cops when they could have been here.”
Public Information Officer Daniel Hudson said the call for service came in as a “suspicious situation” during the busiest time of day. He said call volumes are high at that point, and response is based on priority.
Police said Tuesday they were investigating the incident as a possible impersonator situation. On Wednesday, police said there was no evidence of foul play, an impersonation or an attempted abduction.
Wray says police officers will be talking to the parents Tuesday who called 911.