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An Austin man was arrested Tuesday for impersonating a peace officer, following his involvement in a traffic accident on the West Side.

James Washington, 46, of the 4700 block of West Gladys near Cicero was involved in an accident at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon at 500 S. Kostner. According to Chicago Police, Washington identified himself as a Cook County sheriff to a witness at the scene. He was reportedly wearing a bullet proof vest and a badge – a gold, six-point security guard badge located on his belt. Officers arriving at the scene found that Washington was not a peace officer. A spokesperson for Police News Affairs today said Washington was not reported to be carrying any weapons, and had no prior record of impersonating a law enforcement officer. The spokesperson would not say if Washington had any other prior criminal history. Washington was arrested and taken to 15th District Police Headquarters, 5701 W. Madison. He was charged with false impersonation of a peace officer and operating a motor vehicle without insurance. His bond hearing was Wednesday. 

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com