SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Folsom man is behind bars after Sacramento County Sheriff's Department says he impersonated a deputy.
He was spotted at Sacramento International Airport on Wednesday wearing a sheriff's deputy uniform with a loaded gun.
"This is extremely unique, something we don't encounter very often," said Sgt. Shaun Hampton, with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
The bizarre encounter started with a call to the sheriff's department about an abandoned car outside of Terminal A. A veteran deputy arrived around 9 p.m. Wednesday night and identified Brad Beaver as the driver. He was dressed in a full sheriff's deputy uniform, complete with a nylon duty belt, deputy patches, a Taser and a loaded semi-automatic Glock handgun.
Beaver told the deputy he worked at the jail.
"While speaking with him, he started to find some things that weren't really matching up, that weren't consistent with our traditions," Hampton said. "He was unable to answer a few questions and the officer was not familiar with his name and this officer has been around the sheriff's department for quite some time."
Another red flag was Beaver's patch: it didn't quite match Sacramento County's official uniform.
"We have a bottom rocker on ours," Hampton said, referring to the bars on his sleeve.
Beaver's car did not have any markings identifying it as a law enforcement vehicle, but it was fully equipped with forward facing emergency lights and a dash camera.
The deputy took Beaver into custody. After investigating, deputies discovered Beaver doesn't work for Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and never has! When detectives searched his home, they found firearms, ammunition, and several law enforcement vests, traditionally only worn by officers.
"It could potentially be dangerous and it does present some safety risk issues to the community," Hampton said. "We don't know what this person's intentions were prior to this."
Hampton says uniforms can be found on the internet but patches are typically only circulated to credentialed personnel. He assures the public there was no threat to travelers or to the airport.
"He was never allowed access onto the secure side of the airport, nor was he credentialed to do so," Hampton said.
Detectives are investigating whether or not Beaver has any connection to law enforcement.
According to Transparent California, a public database of California salaries, Beaver was a California correctional officer in 2016. A check of the database says he shows up in the system, with the state paying him $80,000, plus overtime and benefits. We tried to reach the California Department of Corrections on Friday to confirm this information, but we were unable to reach the correct department.
Beaver is being held on a $1 million bail and faces four charges, including possession of an assault weapon and impersonating a peace officer.
If you've had any contact with Beaver Wednesday night at the airport or prior, you're encouraged to call Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
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