Man wanted for impersonating cop in Trenton sex assault arrested

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Police have arrested the man who they say posed as an officer and sexually assaulted a store clerk in Trenton, New Jersey.

The suspect, identified as 54-year-old Gustavo Garcia, was taken into custody on Sunday.

The incident happened around 1:00 p.m. Saturday on the 800 block of South Broad Street.

Authorities say Garcia walked into a store with a small black radio, a handgun, and what appeared to be a badge.

Police say he told the female clerk, who was inside the store alone, that he was a police officer.

Investigators say Garcia inquired about the merchandise and then asked the clerk for a drink of water.

"The clerk went to accommodate him and went to the bathroom to rinse out a glass, at which time, he entered the bathroom and physically and sexually assaulted the victim," Trenton Police Director Ernest Parrey said.

He then walked out of the store, flagged down a car and fled.

Local police released a photo of the suspect leaving the shop and they quickly started receiving tips.

One of them came from former mayoral candidate Paul Perez who says Garcia was one of his campaign volunteers.

It was a stint that did not last long.

"Most of our staff who did know him felt a little unease with him. Finally, our administrator officer said it would be a good thing to get rid of him and we got him out of our office," Perez said.
Garcia was arrested Sunday near the Delaware and Raritan Canal path near Parkside Avenue.

Meantime, Trenton police officials have confirmed the Garcia is the same person arrested three years ago, accused of robbing three different churches in Mercer County.

Now, the list of charges against Garcia include aggravated sexual assault, robbery, and impersonating a police officer.

Garcia is being held on $500,000 cash bail.

Local authorities are encouraging the public to call the police, if you have any reason to believe a self-identified officer is a phony.

"Don't be a lured into an area where you can't protect yourself. Go to your phone, call 911, and we will always come out and assist," Parrey said.
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