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Nassau County Man Arrested For Impersonating Police Officer

Nassau Cop: 'Thank God No One Was Injured During These Incidents'
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Nassau County Police cruiser (file/credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

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INWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Long Island man has been arrested for allegedly making a series of false 911 calls while pretending to be a police officer.

Steven Torres was arrested Tuesday and charged with falsely reporting an incident and criminal impersonation.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, in each incident, police said Torres claimed to be an officer requesting backup for a shooting, an accident and a house fire.

“Someone thinking clearly and reasonably would not engage in behavior like this, particularly when some of the calls he was calling in are really putting public safety officers at risk; the firemen are racing to get to the scene, the police officers are racing to get to the scene to help one of their own,” Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack told Hall. “For people to engage in this type of behavior where they’re falsely calling in 911 calls, serious emergencies, where a police officer needs assistance or there’s a house fire is really putting first responders at great risk…thank God no one was injured during these incidents.”

Police say the latest incident occurred last Thursday when the 21-year-old suspect allegedly claimed to be an NYPD sergeant and falsely reported a shooting in Inwood.

On Oct. 3, Nassau County police said Torres falsely reported a fire at a house in Cedarhurst.

In the first incident, on Sept. 18, the suspect allegedly identified himself as a police officer in need of assistance in conducting a vehicle stop in Lynbrook.

Torres was due to be arraigned later Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)