Buffalo NY Nov 3 2016 A Cheektowaga man with an apparent penchant for impersonating police officers has been arrested again, this time for an incident that happened in June when he sought assistance from a Buffalo animal control officer, claiming he was a Buffalo police officer.
After Corey M. Shepard’s arrest for impersonating a Buffalo police officer in a traffic stop last month in Cheektowaga, the information prompted the city animal control officer to look into the earlier incident in which a dog was taken from a drug suspect whom Shepard had detained.
“The animal control officer vividly recalled Shepard as the one calling stating that he had ‘pulled a car over’ and had a drug arrest and needed animal control to come immediately and secure the dog,” Central District Police Chief Joseph A. Gramaglia said Wednesday.
Shepard was working as a security guard at the Walgreens pharmary at 650 Delaware Ave. and at about 11:30 p.m. June 4, he allegedly detained a drug suspect in the store’s parking lot.
“The animal control officer was called prior to the arrival of uniformed Buffalo police officers and had identified himself as a police officer to animal control,” Gramaglia said. “But to the uniformed police, he told them he was a security guard.”
The dog was taken by the animal control officer who had not heard what he said to the uniformed officers and was going on the assumption that Shepard was a real police officer, the chief explained.
The uniformed officers, who arrested the drug suspect, were unaware of what Shepard had told the animal control officer.
“He had directly contacted the animal control officer on the officer’s cell phone and we don’t know how he got that number,” Gramaglia said.
Shepard of Wanda Avenue turned himself into Buffalo police Tuesday with his attorney Leonard E. Krawczyk Jr., and was later arraigned in Buffalo City Court on a misdemeanor charge of criminal impersonation. He is scheduled to return to court in the near future for further proceedings, police said.
On Oct. 14 in Cheektowaga, Shepard allegedly identified himself as an off-duty Buffalo police officer when he contacted the town’s police dispatcher to say he had spotted a motorist driving recklessly.
When Cheektowaga Officer Jacob Wodowski stopped the vehicle in question, Shepard pulled up in another vehicle. He was dressed in a dark police uniform, a ballistic vest with the word "police" on it, and was carrying a gun.
In allegedly identifying himself as an off-duty city police officer, Shepard told Wodowski he had called 911 to report a possible drunken driver and that "he would cover" Wodowski on the call.
But it turns out the driver wasn't intoxicated and the motorist was released by Wodowski.
As Wodowski and Shepard continued to talk, Wodowski thought that Shepard was acting suspiciously. Shepard showed Wodowski a badge and ID card and quickly left the scene, police said.
In a follow-up investigation, town police reviewed Wodowski's dash cam video and it showed Shepard pointing a gun at the driver as the Cheektowaga officer approached.
On Oct. 17, Cheektowaga police arrested Shepard and found a number of police-related items from his home, including parking tickets stolen from the Buffalo Police Department, various police uniforms, a fake Taser, handcuffs, pepper spray, a police baton, a ballistic vest with the word "police" on it, seven fake police ID cards, six fake police badges and a baseball cap with "police" on it.
Also, police confiscated five hypodermic needles and 14 vials of a steroid.
In the Cheektowaga case, Shepard was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal impersonation, possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of stolen property and multiple counts of possession of a forged instrument. He was arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Court and released on $1,000 cash bail.