‘Kid Cop,’ now a security guard and 19, appears before judge on new police impersonation charges
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 25, 2013 2:02PM
Vincent Richardson in 2011 | Cook County Sheriff's office photo
Updated: August 27, 2013 6:27AM
When the infamous “kid cop” was arrested again Tuesday for allegedly pretending to be an Englewood District cop, he told arresting officers “I know what it’s like to be one of you,” police say.
Vincent Richardson made headlines when he was 14 for fooling Chicago cops into letting him patrol the streets for several hours.
And Richardson, now 19, was back in court Thursday, facing a judge over charges he once again tried to impersonate a police officer.
Before the hearing was over, Richardson, attending college and working as a security officer, was ordered released from custody after Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan handed him a $25,000 individual recognizance bond. Under the terms of his release, Richardson will be on electronic monitoring.
This week, Richardson, of the 6300 block of South Marshfield, was arrested after he allegedly posed as an Englewood District police officer while trying to buy police clothing at a Chicago uniform store — the repeated claims he was a cop constituting a felony impersonation of an officer charge, authorities say.
According to police, Richardson told officers after his arrest: “I know what it’s like to be one of you. I respect you because I did it for a day, chasing and helping people. My intentions are never to hurt people, just to help.”
In 2009, Richardson made national headlines when he sauntered into the Grand Crossing District station dressed from head to toe in a regulation uniform, fooling officers into assigning him to traffic patrol for five hours. His true identity was discovered toward the end of the shift.
At the time of that incident, Richardson was in eighth grade. His mother, Victoria Brock, told the Chicago Sun-Times then: “Ever since he was 5 years old, he’s wanted to be a police officer. I don’t know why. But his whole life, his favorite [television] show has been ‘Cops.’ ” She said mental health evaluations had shown that her son was healthy.
Then-Mayor Richard M. Daley fumed over the incident, calling for heads to roll.
Months after that ordeal, Richardson dressed up as a businessman and pretended to take a test drive at a South Side car dealership before driving away with a Lexus.
In 2010, Richardson was sentenced to juvenile prison for pushing his mother and stealing his uncle’s car while the older man watched television.
A year later, he was charged as an adult in a gun case. Richardson received one year in prison for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to court records. On Tuesday afternoon, Richardson walked into VCG Uniform in the 5000 block of West Irving and when asked whether he was a cop, told the salesman repeatedly he was an officer in Chicago’s Englewood District and showed him his driver’s license, authorities said. At the time, Richardson was dressed in a pair of dark blue cargo pants, which resembled what officers wear, and a white duty shirt, prosecutors said.
Richardson asked for a nylon duffel bag, cargo pants, a blue duty shirt and a duty belt, but abruptly exited through a back door before getting the items — or retrieving his ID, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonetti said during Richardson’s bond hearing.
A store employee looked Richardson’s name up on the Internet and realized he was the same man who notoriously impersonated an officer when he was 14.
Richardson soon came back to the store to get his ID and was detained by police officers summoned to the store, Antonetti said.
Chicago Police also found a receipt on Richardson from an online purchase he made the same day for a CPD badge and badgeholder. A public defender told the judge Richardson lives with his mother, is employed as a security guard and attending college.