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Police: Man caught speeding brandished fake police badge
Lawrenceville resident charged with impersonating officer

DULUTH - Police arrested a Lawrenceville man for purporting himself as a DeKalb County officer - and several other people - during a routine traffic stop, an official said.

Police said Anthony Joe Howell, 54, tried to win the favor of an officer who pulled him over for doing 54 in a 35 miles per hour zone Friday night on Buford Highway. Howell allegedly told the officer he'd just put in a long shift on the DeKalb force and flashed a fake badge.

Howell quickly changed his story, however, to say he had retired from that force and works as their chaplain, before he changed that tale to say he's a police officer in the military, police said.

The officer contacted DeKalb to confirm Howell's claims, and "they said they'd never heard of him," Duluth police spokesman Maj. Don Woodruff said.

Police arrested Howell on a felony charge of impersonating a police officer and speeding.

"We certainly don't want anybody impersonating an officer and using that against somebody to perpetrate a crime," Woodruff said.

Howell did not return a call Monday seeking comment. His outgoing message - in which he introduces himself as a reverend - provides an option for Genesis International, where jail records show he is employed.

Howell posted an $8,100 bond and was released from the Gwinnett County Jail on Sunday.