Austin man charged with impersonating police, pulling out-of-state drivers over
(ABC 6 News) – An Austin man faces a charge of impersonating a peace officer from Memorial Day weekend.
On May 27, two people who were driving together called Austin police to report that they believed they had been pulled over by someone impersonating an officer.
According to court records, the pair was driving to the Culvers on 17th Avenue NW around 4 p.m., when a man in a red Mustang with flashing police lights approached them from behind.
Wade Joseph Novak, the alleged driver, pulled up in the Culvers parking lot next to the pair, showed them a badge, and said “in Minnesota, we drive 30 miles per hour.”
The driver contended that he had been driving 35 mph, and asked if the Mustang was a police vehicle, he told police.
According to court records, Novak, 58, told the man he was a detective and his car was a “detective vehicle.”
“Both Victim A and B noted the man was smirking throughout the incident, which they found to be unusual for a detective to do during a traffic stop,” court records read.
Austin police viewed video of the incident and identified the Mustang as belonging to Novak, who was previously arrested and charged with impersonating a peace officer in 2011.
The charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Austin police encountered Novak wearing a “NAPD” hat and white shirt with a police badge and “NAPD” logo on it.
According to court records, Novak started a group called “Never Alone Public Defenders” and told the officers people “assume police” because of the “PD” in his shirt’s logo.
Novak denied telling the man he was a peace officer, denied flashing a badge at the man, and claimed not to have flashing lights in his vehicle, despite video evidence to the contrary, per court records.
Austin police obtained a search warrant for the car and allegedly located a badge resembling those given to police officers, emergency flashing lights on the front and back og the vehicle, a dash camera, and two strobe lights.
Novak’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 8.