NEWARK - The Essex County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man who is accused of impersonating a Newark police officer.
According to Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, one of his officers saw what looked like a Newark patrolman walking along Heller Parkway in Newark Wednesday. The sheriff’s officer stopped to ask if he needed help. When the Newark “officer” was asked what precinct he worked in, he became flustered and fled.
Essex County Sheriff’s officers found Jaami Brantley, 36, hiding under a deck, undressing the uniform. This was the fourth time Brantley was arrested for allegedly impersonating a police officer. Three of those times he was also charged for allegedly having a firearm or an imitation. When he was arrested Wednesday, he was in possession of a fake Beretta pistol, according to Sheriff Fontoura.
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Fontour says that none of the equipment Brantley allegedly possessed was property of the Newark Police Department.
“You can buy the uniform,” he says. “What you cannot buy is the patches.”
News of the arrest rattled residents in Newark.
“You see police every day around here,” says Derrick Fleming, of Newark. “For that to happen is pretty nerve-racking.”
Brantley faces 11 charges, including impersonating a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.