Who’s pulling you over? You have the right to know

Man stops woman, asks for sex to drop illegitimate charge

Author: Myra Arthur, Reporter, Anchor, marthur@ksat.com
Published On: May 02 2013 06:21:40 PM CDT   Updated On: May 02 2013 06:36:09 PM CDT
Fake Cop
SAN ANTONIO -

San Antonio police investigators say a man who allegedly pulled over a woman just after midnight April 27 at the intersection of I-10 and UTSA Boulevard was a military police officer, but does not have jurisdiction off of a military base.

Branden McGarity, 30, was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with attempted sexual assault.

Police say he stopped the woman and told her she was under arrest for drunk driving, but if she agreed to have sex with him he would not arrest her.

McGarity (pictured below) displayed his military police badge to her and to a clerk at a convenience store where he stopped after pulling over the victim.

The clerk thought something was suspicious about McGarity and called police.

The suspect was dressed in a yellow t-shirt, black and white checkered shorts, and gray tennis shoes.

Meanwhile, the victim got into McGarity’s vehicle where police say he told the victim he did not want to arrest her and would let her go if she performed oral sex.

The victim told investigators she was terrified and let McGarity touch her, but then he began apologizing and asked for her phone number and took her home.

McGarity is charged with attempted sexual assault.

So how can you know if the person pulling you over is a legitimate police officer?

“If an officer is going to stop you, more than likely they’re going to be in uniform,” said KSAT Crime Specialist Gilbert de La Portilla. “If they’re going to be in plain clothes, they’re going to have a badge visible. Either on their belt line or around their neck, hanging around their neck.”

You can call police to find out if there is an officer making a traffic stop where you are.

“You can ask the officer, 'You know, may I call someone? Can I call someone?' If he refuses, there is something terribly wrong about the situation,” said de La Portilla.

While verifying the information let the person who stopped you know what you're doing.

"Turn on the interior light and let the officer know, or the so called officer, that this is your intention," he said.

You also have the right to ask for the officer's ID and badge number. And de La Portilla says, depending on the circumstances, an officer can ask you to get into a patrol car.

But you can ask why.

And pull over in a well-lit, congested area.

It’s a good idea to put your emergency flashers on until you get there.

“If they don’t feel right about the situation, go ahead and play it safe," de La Portilla said.

For a list of recent stories Myra Arthur has done, click here.