Alleged police imposter accused of intimidating juveniles with badge and gun

Jeff Bobo • Sep 20, 2018 at 6:37 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A man who allegedly represented himself as a law enforcement officer and used a handgun to intimidate juveniles at South Holston Lake earlier this month was charged Thursday with aggravated assault and criminal impersonation.

On Sept. 9, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an individual driving a white Toyota pickup with flashing red and blue lights and “Wildlife” stickers on the vehicle.

Lt. Andy Seabolt stated in a press release that the truck was reportedly stopping juveniles who were swimming in the lake.

“During the encounter, the victims advised that the male subject displayed a handgun and intimidated them with it,” Seabolt stated in his report. “The victims also advised officers that the male subject was wearing some type of police-style badge. The juveniles were able to provide a detailed vehicle description as well as a description of the male subject. The subject was identified as Bobby Rachel.”

Rachel, 73, from Bristol, Va., was developed as a suspect, and an arrest warrant for aggravated assault and criminal impersonation was issued.

On Thursday, Rachel was spotted by the SCSO in the vicinity of Highway 421 driving the truck described by the victims.

The vehicle was stopped and Rachel was taken into custody.

Inside the vehicle, the SCSO allegedly located flashing red and blue lights, “Wildlife” stickers and police-style radios, as well as a firearm and police-style badge, which were discovered in the glove compartment.

Rachel was being held in the Sullivan County Jail pending arraignment.

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