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Real Cops Have Hands Full With 2 Imposters

Imposter Mugshots

William Woolridge (left), Johnny Johnson (credit: Chicago Police Dept.)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – Two South Side acquintances are behind bars after pretending to be law enforcement officers in the Austin neighborhood late last week. 

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Mitchell Reports

William Woolridge, 33, and Johnny Johnson, 21, were both charged early Friday with felony false impersonation of a peace officer, according to police.

Johnson, of the 5900 block of South May Street, was also charged with unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of body armor, having a firearm without a valid FOID card and he was cited with a city weapon violation, according to police.

Woolridge was arrested early Friday at the Austin District police station at 5701 W. Madison St. after identifying himself as a U.S. Army Reservist military policeman, according to a police report. Police were already processing Johnson at the station when Woolridge walked in making his claims.

Woolridge, of the 8200 block of South Houston Avenue, presented a shield with U.S. Army military police engraved on it, was wearing a bulletproof vest, a gun holster, a magazine holster and handcuffs, but did not have military identification because he said he “left it at home,” the report said.

He then told police he lied, and allegedly said that he was never in the military but “wished he was,” the report said.

Hours earlier, police arrested Johnson at 330 N. Central Ave. at 7:26 p.m. Thursday after he flagged down officers to ask a question about public service, the report said.

Johnson was wearing a black vest and body armor with the word “police” on it.

He also had a semi-automatic handgun in a holster with an extra magazine of ammunition. Officers asked him if was a police officer and he replied, “Yes, I am a Steger rookie police officer,” the report said.

Johnson was placed into custody without incident when he could not produce police identification or a star. The handgun and ammunition were taken into evidence, according to the report.

A spokesman at Chicago Police News Affairs said Johnson and Woolridge are “acquaintances” and that both cases are on the same incident report. But he could not provide further details.

Woolridge was booked into Cook County Jail Friday, after being ordered held on $90,000 bond, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s website.

Johnson was ordered held on $75,000 bond, also during a Friday hearing, according to the website. Johnson and Woolridge are both expected to appear for preliminary hearings Nov. 18, according to the website.

Grand Central Area detectives are investigating.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)