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Local Fire Official Accused Of Impersonating Police Officer

MONROEVILLE (KDKA) -- A local firefighter is in trouble Tuesday, accused of impersonating a police officer and pulling someone over.

Forty-six-year-old George Fred Gerstacker is a Deputy Fire Chief at Monroeville Fire Station #5. He's also a former Monroeville fire and police dispatcher. Now, it's Gerstacker who finds himself in trouble with the law, facing charges of impersonating a police officer and official oppression.

A criminal complaint states that on Sept. 13, Gerstacker made a traffic stop along the William Penn Highway. He allegedly pulled over a motorcyclist who was allegedly speeding, driving erratically and passing in a no-passing zone.

Chief Ronald Harvey, of the Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company #5, told KDKA-TV's Ralph Iannotti, "My reaction is - disappointment. Fred has been a member here for 13 years, and a pretty stellar member at that; I think it was very poor decision he made."

The motorcyclist, Alessandro Polito, told Monroeville police that Gerstacker was flashing his red and blue emergency lights when he was flagged down; and now, he wanted to press charges.

"He was very aggressive and pushy," an officer quoted Polito as saying in court papers, according to our partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Polito said Gerstacker was "rushing him about his documentation."

Gerstacker reportedly told the motorcyclist that he'd be getting a "traffic citation in the mail."

Getstacker was not arrested by police, rather he'll be getting a summons in the mail.

Fire Chief Harvey, who said Gerstacker is on permanent suspension pending an internal department investigation, lamented, "Mr. Gerstacker took a privilege that the state gave us, to use to respond to emergency calls handled by the fire department, and did just what nobody wants to see somebody like that do."

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