Police arrested an East Hampton man on charges of criminal impersonation and harassment, after he allegedly followed a driver and showed him a PBA shield.
Jefferson D. Eames, who is 44, was stopped by police on Oct. 4 after a Latino man told police a man in a truck harassed him repeatedly on Sept. 25.
The man went to town police headquarters that day at 11:30 a.m., to report he was the victim of a road rage incident in Springs an hour earlier. He told police he was driving on Hildreth Place in his Mercedes van when a pick-up truck with red lettering on the back passed him — he gave the truck driver his middle finger.
Both vehicles turned left onto Accabonac Road, but the man lost site of the truck until he came to the stop sign at Old Stone Highway. He waited behind the truck for a while, but when the truck didn't move, he attempted to go around it. Eames allegedly got out of the truck and made a fist with his hand.
The man backed up his van and went around Eames' truck on the right, by driving over the grass. Eames allegedly followed him on Old Stone Highway, flashing the headlights on his truck. The man stopped and Eames allegedly approached his van and yelled at him for about 10 minutes.
Detective Lt. Chris Anderson said Eames reportedly yelled racial epithets and threatened physical violence based on the victim's race or nationality.
He also tried to rip off an American flag patch that was on the victim's sweat shirt.
Eames also pulled out a small silver badge from his pocket. The victim believed that Eames was a police officer, according to the report. Police said they later found it was a Suffolk County PBA shield.
The victim pulled away and tried to lose the defendant, but was followed again, though no further verbal altercation ensued.
Police spotted a vehicle matching the description the vehicle had given them on Montauk Highway, near Wainscott-Northwest Road, and stopped it. They asked him for the shield, which he at first refused to turn over, and then threw at the officer's left arm. He reportedly refused to provide the information about how he got it. Police took it into evidence, but let Eames go.
He was questioned further on Sept. 26 and then arrested on Oct. 4.
East Hampton Town Justice Catherine A. Cahill released Eames on $250 bail after his arraignment on charges of second-degree aggravated harassment, under the race subsection, and second-degree criminal impersonation of a public servant, both misdemeanors.