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Utah's Polynice Pinched Again

For the second time in two months, Utah Jazz center Olden Polynice has been charged with impersonating a police officer in a conflict with another motorist.

In a separate case, Polynice was charged last month after a West Valley City couple accused him of chasing them to their home and flashing an apparent police badge on Oct. 28.

In a misdemeanor complaint filed Friday, Mark and Patti Schneller said they were driving downtown Sept. 13 when a car sped past them and almost hit them.

Mark Schneller responded by making a rude gesture, prompting the other car to stop. The driver, identified by the Schnellers as Polynice, flashed a badge and said: "I'm with the California Sheriff's Office and I can have you arrested," according to prosecutors.

Polynice has said he carries an honorary police badge from the Los Angeles Police Department.

In the October case, Polynice was charged with impersonating a police officer and disorderly conduct after an argument broke out and Polynice flashed the badge. The couple didn't recognize the 7-foot man as a Jazz player but wrote down his license plate, allowing investigators to track him down.

In that incident, Polynice told authorities he was cut off in traffic.

"All I can say right now is it's a serious matter," said Polynice's lawyer, Wally Bugden. "We're going to respond in court. We're working toward trying to resolve both these cases."

The maximum punishment for impersonating a police officer is six months in jail and a $1,850 fine.

No hearing date has been set in either case. Bugden said he is optimistic the charges can be resolved early next month.

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