MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Farmington man is being charged for allegedly impersonating a police officer and cuffing a 13-year-old boy.
Andrew Scott Benson, 18, is facing one count of false imprisonment and one count of impersonating an officer.
According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 22 a Farmington Police Officer learned of a rumor that a 13-year-old boy had been put in handcuffs and “arrested for a DUI” earlier that month. One of the boy’s friends allegedly took a video of the incident on his cell phone.
The officer investigating the rumored arrest found that the Farmington Police Department had not arrested the 13-year-old, but had actually responded to a medical call.
The complaint states that the officer found the call had been made after the boy ingested marijuana that may have been laced with another drug, causing him to “trip hard.”
The medical call was not the subject of the alleged video.
According to the criminal complaint, an officer obtained the video and noted it was taken roughly 30 minutes prior to the medical call.
The complaint states that the video shows Benson posing as a Farmington Police officer.
In the video, Benson was dressed in a dark shirt with a Farmington Police Department patch that was retired in 2014, an outer vest carrier, dark pants, a left ear earpiece, medical gloves and a utility belt that held a flashlight, radio, radio holder and a medical gloves pouch.
The officer said the video shows Bensons confronting the boy, searching his wallet, reading the Mirand Warning and cuffing him.
Benson took the boy out to a car, believed to be Benson’s, that had red and blue flashing lights on it and which were on during the incident.
In a later interview with a police officer, Benson admitted to being at the house with the boy the night of the incident.
The complaint states that Benson also admitted to cuffing the boy and driving him around the block.
Benson told police he thought it would be funny to scare the boy into not using drugs again by pretending to be a police officer.
Officers said Benson told them he had purchased the patches from an online auction, but told police he didn’t want them anymore.
Benson said that he told the boy that he was not a police officer multiple times, but that the boy was in an altered state and may have believed he was. He said that he actually made the medical call after he took the cuffs off of the boy because he began shaking.
According to the criminal complaint, several witnesses of the incident said that Benson did say he wasn’t a police officer and did check the boy’s pulse and call 911 after the boy began shaking.
If found guilty of both charges, Benson could face up to three years and three months in prison, a $6,000 fine or both.