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Hillsboro man charged with impersonating police officer

Posted on Friday, November 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

A Coffee County man who wore a dark uniform with police insignias while providing security for Nashville Center Stage nightclub on 8th Avenue South has been arrested on charges of criminal impersonation of a police officer and unlawful handgun possession.

William A. Gooch

William A. Gooch

Members of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force arrested William A. Gooch, 32, at his home in Hillsboro and transported him to Nashville for booking.

The following information on the allegations is from the Task Force report:

On the night of Nov. 2 a Metro police sergeant saw Gooch in the nightclub parking lot armed and wearing a police uniform. When asked for his law enforcement identification, Gooch provided a Coffee County Sheriff’s Office card (subsequent investigation revealed Gooch last worked as a jailer at that agency several years ago).

Gooch said the uniform he wore was issued to him when he worked for the Tracy City police in the past. He told the Metro sergeant that he thought it was OK to continue wearing the uniform since he used a Sharpie pen to mark out “Tracy City.”  In fact, Gooch is not a Tennessee police officer and has no permit to carry a pistol.

Gooch’s conduct is of concern because it left the impression to citizens, particularly those unfamiliar with Metro police uniforms and patches, that he was a legitimate law enforcement officer working in Nashville.

Gooch is free on $10,000 bond and is to appear in court on Nov, 27.