Last Oct. 28, a couple was arguing along a road in Penn Forest Township. A man stopped his car, identified himself as a police officer, showed his badge, and separated the couple.
On May 1, at 10 p.m., a female was walking along Old Stage Road in Penn Forest Township when approached by a male in a white car. The man, wearing a police badge, began questioning her about where she was headed and about her age.
In both instances, the man was Randy Edwin Merriman, 56, of Albrightsville. And he isn't a police officer.
Yesterday, Merriman copped out of a preliminary hearing before District Judge Edward M. Lewis of Jim Thorpe. He has been charged with impersonating a public servant, visual and audible signals on emergency vehicles, persons not to possess/use/manufacture, control, sell, transfer firearms, and firearms not to be carried without a license.
He waived the charges to Carbon County Court.
The arresting officer is Trooper William Maynard of the Fern Ridge barracks.
Maynard said in the affidavit that both he and Trooper Leo Nita investigated the incidents involving the arguing couple. It notes that when Trooper Nita interviewed Merriman afterward, "he identified himself as an off-duty Suffolk County, N.J. police officer."
At the time of the interview, Merriman was operating a white Ford Crown Victoria sedan, which resembled an unmarked police car.
The ensuing investigation revealed that Merriman was not a law enforcement officer, but that he retired from the Middlesex County, New Jersey Sheriff's department years ago due to work related injury.
It was also observed that red lights were located inside the grill area of Merriman's car and that the vehicle was equipped with an operating siren.
Regarding the second incident, Merriman identified himself by his last name to the girl walking Old Stage Road. Merriman also introduced his daughter, Nicole Merriman.
The affidavit says the unidentified victim who had been approached observed a badge attached to Merriman's car visor. Merriman also had a second badge on him, the affidavit says.
Maynard says that on May 10 a search warrant was executed at Merriman's residence.
"During this search, two guns, two badges, several ID cards, as well as a red dash light and siren were among the items seized" from Merriman's residence, as well as his 2003 vehicle.
Merriman told Maynard that his car was equipped with a police siren when he purchased it.
He also said the guns, which were seized were antiques, and that one had belonged to his wife, Melissa.