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April 3, 2012
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Man who posed as an officer being sought for sex assault

VAIL, Colorado - A male tourist was allegedly sexually assaulted by a man posing as a police officer, and Vail Police are following leads they hope will take them to him.

The assault occurred late Saturday night or Sunday morning, and the police search continues, said Cmdr. Craig Bettis, with the Vail Police Department.

They're also asking that anyone who might know what happened contact them, Bettis said.

The victim was a 21-year-old visitor from out of state staying at the Roost Lodge in Vail, police said.

The suspect identified himself as a police officer but not a Vail Police officer, Bettis said.

The victim described the suspect as wearing black clothing and not a law-enforcement uniform, Bettis said. The suspect had no badge or police identification, Bettis said.

"He did a pretty good job convincing the victim that he was a police officer, even though he was in plain clothes and had no identification," Bettis said.

When he did, the suspect committed the sexual assault, Bettis said.

The victim called Vail police at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Bettis said.

Because the case is still under investigation, Bettis declined to give much specific information about the suspect.

It's your right to ask police officers for identification, Bettis said.

"If you have any doubts about whether the person you're talking to is a police officer, ask them for identification," Bettis said. "That's something within everyone's rights, and we encourage everyone to do that."

Bettis said it's especially important to ask for identification if the person approaching you isn't wearing a uniform or not a complete uniform.

Ask for a full name and badge number, Bettis said.

"It's OK to ask, and we encourage that anyone identifying themselves as police - especially if they're in plain clothes - be asked for identification," Bettis said.

"If you're uncertain the person you're talking to is a police officer, it's your right to ask for identification. We encourage people to do their due diligence."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Apr 3, 2012 12:20AM Published Apr 3, 2012 12:18AM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.