Southgate, MI – A 17-year-old girl who told police that she was pulled over by a fake cop has been charged for lying to officers.
The incident began at approximately 9 p.m. on Feb. 28, when Faith Kathleen Gentry entered the Southgate Police Department (SPD) lobby and reported that she was pulled over by someone impersonating a police officer, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a press release.
She told officers that the supposed stop took place in Wyandotte, in the area of Fort Street and Eureka Road.
“I was coming down southbound down Fort Street, and this ‘cop’ put his lights on and I pulled over,” Gentry later told WJBK.
The 17-year-old said that a tall black man dressed as a police officer then approached her vehicle.
He was driving a black Ford Fusion with “police” written on the side in faded grey letters, she claimed.
“He did have a badge on his shoulder and the button-up [shirt] and the belt,” Gentry said. “But the only thing on his belt was a gun.”
She claimed that the fake cop told her that he couldn’t read her license plate and that her blinker was out, and that he would mail her ticket to her.
“He didn’t ask me for my registration, he didn’t ask my insurance papers, any of that,” recounted to WJBK. “I was kind of in shock. I didn’t know what to do.”
Gentry said that when she described the man to the investigators, they told her that Wyandotte Police Department (WPD) does not have any black officers working for their agency right now.
“I’m scared for her to be out there,” her mother, Dawn Gentry, told the news outlet at the time. “If you’re not sure…go ahead and call 911 and see if they’re sending somebody out to look at you, you know, to stop you, ‘cause they can tell you right away.”
But as police worked to identify the supposed fake cop, Gentry’s story quickly unraveled.
Both SPD and WPD began looking into the case, and determined that Gentry’s account of what occurred did not coincide with the facts, WDIV reported.
She later confessed to having made the entire story up, police said.
“Investigation by the Wyandotte and Southgate Police Departments found no evidence to substantiate the defendant’s claims,” Worthy said in the press release.
The teen has been charged with false report of a misdemeanor, and was given a $25,000 personal bond.
She pleaded guilty in 28th District Court on March 8, and was referred to the probation office for a sentencing recommendation, according to the News-Herald.
Her motive is unknown, WJBK reported.
Gentry’s attorney, Dean Elliot, told the court that the Southgate Anderson High School student maintains a 2.8 grade point average, and that she has applied to college.
“She has a part-time job at a pharmacy, she’s currently a Girl Scout of seven years,” the lawyer continued. “[She] does all sorts of volunteer work.”
Elliot blamed the incident on social media.
“She’s a good person and unfortunately, in society today with access to social media, it spiraled rapidly out of control,” Elliot told WJBK.
The SPD said that Gentry’s actions make officers’ jobs more difficult, because they have the potential to erode the public’s trust and take away from the time needed to investigate actual crimes.
“Public safety is our main concern and we cannot have or tolerate [hoaxes] and fear being put into our residents’ minds,” the department said in a statement, according to the News-Herald. “The police officers out working the streets of Downriver cannot do their jobs [efficiently and effectively] with this type of behavior.”