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Hernando Sheriff's Office says story of man impersonating cop is false

BROOKSVILLE — This week, Lindsay Walke reported to authorities that a man stopped her in Spring Hill, made her perform sobriety exercises, searched her vehicle and then let her go, authorities say.

The 30-year-old Spring Hill woman's story prompted the Hernando Sheriff's Office to urge residents to watch out for a man impersonating an officer, just days after a similar incident had occurred in Ridge Manor.

On Thursday, Walke admitted she had made up the story to account for her whereabouts after being questioned by her husband, the Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Detectives arrested Walke, charged her with filing a false report to law enforcement and gave her a misdemeanor citation.

According to a news release, Walke initially reported that a man driving a white Ford Crown Victoria stopped her at Waterfall Drive and Bern Lane, asked for her driver's license and insurance card and ordered her to follow him to a nearby medical plaza. There, Walke said, the man searched her vehicle, made her perform sobriety exercises and then let her go with a warning.

Walke's tale came one week after the Times and other news media reported that investigators were searching for a man who pulled over a male motorist in Ridge Manor. The motorist drove away after becoming suspicious. That case is still open, spokeswoman Denise Moloney said Friday.

Using a description of the suspect form Walke, detectives reviewed surveillance video from nearby businesses and conducted interviews. They could find no evidence to support Walke's report.

Walke told detectives Thursday that she made up the story.

The Sheriff's Office will seek reimbursement from Walke for the roughly 30-hour investigation, Moloney said.

Walke does not have an arrest record in Florida, records show.

Times news researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Reach Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1431. Follow him on Twitter @TMarreroTimes.

Hernando Sheriff's Office says story of man impersonating cop is false 02/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 15, 2013 7:24pm]
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