Man impersonates officer to get fast food quicker

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Austin Police said a man pretended to be a police officer in order to get through the line quicker at a McDonald's drive thru.

35-year-old Thomas Martin was arrested Wednesday for Impersonating a Public Servant. 

An arrest affidavit states Martin was in line at a South Austin McDonald's drive thru in a car that looked like a standard police car. It was painted black and white, had red and blue lights and even had a number on the roof.

Restaurant employees told the man behind him to go around Martin's car because Martin was not ready to place an order, but when the driver tried to do that, Martin told him what he was doing was illegal and asked him, "Do you want to end up in the back of my car?"               

Then Martin switched on emergency lights and continued to yell things that led the other driver to believe he was a police officer.         

Martin eventually approached a drive thru window and asked for food. When a McDonald's employee told him he needed to order first, Martin put the emergency lights on again and told the employee, "Come outside and I'll take you downtown."

Austin Police said they found the suspect they were looking for, but just 40 miles away in Williamson County, deputies are still searching for a different man who acted as a police officer.             

 "You never know who the next person they may stop is. I mean, it's scary to me," said Thrall Police Chief Whitney Whitworth.

Sunday, just one mile south of Thrall on County Road 424 a Hispanic man in his 20s pulled in front of another driver, keeping him from moving forward.

"After they talked for a while, the suspect walked back to his vehicle, opened his glovebox and removed a black semiautomatic handgun. He displayed the handgun, not really in a threatening manner, was holding it up, he identified himself as an undercover cop. They conversed for a few minutes and then the gentleman got in his car and took off," Whitworth said.

This is the first time this has ever happened near Thrall. Whitworth hopes it's the last, but, just in case, he has stepped up patrols in the area and he's hoping the next victim handles the situation differently.              

"Best thing you could do is keep moving if possible. Don't speed, don't endanger yourself or others and get on the phone with 911," said Whitworth.

Whitworth said if someone is unsure whether the person trying to stop them is a police officer, it's best to turn on hazard lights and drive towards a populated area while 9-1-1 gets an officer to intercept the other car.

The Chief has a message to the man who claimed he was an undercover officer.

"You're committing a felony. We'll catch up to you sooner or later and again you don't know if they got a license plate, so you may be being tracked. They may just be looking for you right now," said Whitworth.

Impersonating a Public Servant is a 3rd Degree Felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.

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