Richmond police hope to hear from anyone who might have been stopped by a privately owned pickup truck with illegal blue lights in the grill.
Chief Scott MacMaster said officers, who discovered the blue lights in the grill of the 1985 Dodge Ram during a traffic stop Friday evening, are trying to determine if the truck is connected to an incident a few weeks ago, when a young man falsely claimed at the police station to be a military police officer with the Maine National Guard.
“We believe at this point there is a connection,” MacMaster said.
Police pulled over the pickup truck, which had recently been spray-painted a powder blue that closely resembles that of state police vehicles, around 9 p.m. Friday on Main Street near the Interstate 295 on-ramp.
The driver, Everett Perry, 19, of Edgecomb, was summoned on charges of illegal attachment of registration plates and operating after suspension. Perry is staying with a friend in Richmond.
MacMaster said officers saw the lights in the truck’s grill as it was being hoisted onto a flatbed tow truck.
“The officer asked about the lights in the grill,” MacMaster said. “He said there were just fog lights.”
MacMaster said police followed the tow truck to Rick’s Towing and, while helping unload the truck, flipped on the pickup truck’s fog lights to help to illuminate the back of the tow truck.
“They were blue lights,” MacMaster said. He said there were four of the blue LED lights in the grill.
State law prohibits installing blue lights on a privately owned vehicle.
“We’re concerned about why he has them,” MacMaster said.
Police stopped Perry driving the truck again Monday morning. The truck, which Perry had sold earlier that morning, was properly registered but Perry was again charged with operating after suspension. The new owner, who was following in another vehicle, tore the lights from the grill once police explained the law. MacMaster said the new owner was not aware the grill lights were blue.
MacMaster said police are looking into the truck’s connection with an incident last month in which a 19-year-old man went to the police station claiming to serve with the military police while demanding information about a case. MacMaster said at the time that the man had seen Richmond police issue a summons to a juvenile on a tobacco-related offense.
The man said he was a police officer with the Maine Army National Guard and demanded information on the interaction between the police officer and juvenile. Richmond officers wouldn’t discuss the case with him.
MacMaster said the man is attached to a National Guard Unit, but as a mechanic, not a police officer. Maj. Michael Steinbuchel, public affairs officer for the Maine Army National Guard, confirmed that Perry is a specialist serving with the Guard’s 152 Component Repair Company, which is based in Augusta.
MacMaster wouldn’t say whether the man who came into the police station is Perry because no one has been charged in connection with the claim. MacMaster said the investigation is ongoing.
MacMaster last month urged people to be wary of a young man misrepresenting himself as a police officer.
Now he’s wondering if Perry used his truck to make an illegal traffic stop. MacMaster said there have been no such complaints to Richmond Police, but he asked anyone who was stopped or saw the truck with the lights on to call Richmond Police at 737-8518.
“It would be obvious it’s not a police cruiser during the day, but during the evening you can’t see what the vehicle is,” MacMaster said.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @CraigCrosby4