Arizona Man Arrested After Impersonating Cop, Illegally Detains Man

By Ginny Reese

August 24, 2022

Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

An Arizona man has been arrested after impersonating a cop and illegally detaining another man at a convenience store. AZ Family reported that 22-year-old Anthony Michael Harper was seen wearing a tactical vest, putting a man in handcuffs, and searching him.

Security guards called the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office about a suspicious person. When police arrived, they saw surveillance video of someone following their patrol car and stopping a man at a Circle K near 111th and Grand Avenues in Youngtown.

According to court documents, Harper told the man, "I am Officer Harper with the State of Arizona." He then allegedly told the man to put his hands behind his back before taking him to his car.

Harper told police that he believed he was within his rights as a bail recovery agent to detain and search the man. But according to investigators, he didn't have the proper documentation. Harper also admitted that he wasn't a certified security guard.

Court documents show that Harper told police, "a reasonable person would believe he was a police officer based upon how he introduced himself."

Harper was arrested and booked on one count of unlawful imprisonment and one count of impersonating a peace officer.

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