GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA – A former College Park police officer faces multiple charges in Gwinnett County after he allegedly tried to pass himself off as still employed by the department during a traffic stop, Channel 2 Action News reports.
Donnell Shelby Eppinger, 36, of Atlanta is charged with impersonating a police officer, possession of a narcotic and possession of a firearm while committing a felony, police said.
He was arrested July 17 after a Lawrenceville police officer stopped Eppinger’s 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle for going an estimated 65 mph in a 45 mph zone on Hurricane Shoals Road near Collins Hill Road, according to a police report.
The suspect’s driver’s license showed the man wearing a uniform, and when questioned, he allegedly said he was a College Park police officer. He showed a College Park police badge and turned over a Glock Model 30 pistol he was carrying in a saddle bag, the police report said.
The arresting officer said in his report that he became suspicious when Eppinger could not produce a police identification card. A call to the College Park Police Department confirmed Eppinger had left the force three months ago. The suspect was placed under arrest.
Police said they recovered more than $1,500 from Eppinger’s pants pocket and trench coat as well as ammunition for the Glock, and a police dog brought to the scene picked up a suspicious scent. Officers found two yellow pills, and one tested positive for the drug ecstasy, according to the police report.
Eppinger was taken to Gwinnett County Jail.
College Park Assistant Police Chief Tom Kuzniacki told Channel 2 that the department had investigated Eppinger for being a member of a criminal motorcycle club.
“Once we were able to sustain some of the information, he was brought in and he was terminated,” Kuzniacki said.
College Park police now are investigating why Eppinger still had one of their badges, the assistant chief said.