Ohio deputies quickly foiled two sex offenders’ plans to confront a witness to a rape while posing as officers.
Erik Brubaker, 35, and accomplice Caleb Barnhart, 20, were pulled over in a routine traffic stop when the Wayne County deputy noticed that one was dressed in a makeshift police officer costume complete with a duty belt, handcuffs, and pepper spray, FOX 8 reports. Both men, quickly discovered to be sex offenders, were carrying fake metal badges. Police also learned that Brubaker, who was driving, was in possession of a suspended license.
Barnhart admitted that the men were on their way to confront a woman who was a witness in a Medina County rape case. The woman made an accusation against Tanner Davis, 18, who Barnhart identified as a friend of his. The men intended to get her to recant. The case is scheduled to go to trial at the end of the month.
“Certainly any time you pull somebody over and they are wearing a badge and have the word police across the front, that’s going to cause additional questions on behalf of any officer conducting that stop,” explained Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Captain Doug Hunter. He added, “It appeared that the reason he was wearing this uniform may have been to intimidate this young lady to answer his questions or perhaps to go away with him to some other location.”
Brubaker was charged with one count of driving under suspension while Barnhart was taken to jail for violating his probation. It is now up to the Wayne County Prosecutor to file additional charges as they see fit.