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News10NBC Investigates: Accused fake cop tells customer "I can arrest you"

July 18, 2018 10:49 PM

As of Wednesday, we know that an accused fake cop was threatening to arrest people with a fake badge.

New York State Police say the suspect, Paul K. Gullo, was caught wearing his fake police badge when a trooper went to talk to him. 

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On July 6, state police say Gullo had a badge, a set of handcuffs and a hat that said 'police' at the Dollar General store in Naples, Ontario County. 

Trooper Mark O'Donnell, NYSP Troop E: "At one point in line he said to a customer -- I can arrest you."

Trooper Mark O'Donnell says when Gullo made the threat, 911 was called. A trooper tracked Gullo down at his family home in Naples and Gullo came to the door. 

Trooper O'Donnell says Gullo "actually answered the door with the badge still on the belt."

According to the criminal complaint, the badge said "Robbery Prevention."

Since News10NBC started investigating Gullo's arrest we found out he worked for short periods of time as a part-time police officer in Watkins Glen (January 1998 - April 1999), Wayland, Steuben County (August 2009 - mid-September 2009) and Clyde, Wayne County. 

He was also a part-time cop in Wolcott, Wayne County starting in December 2008. A former official told News10NBC that he was "fired for cause" seven months later. 

The village official told News10NBC Gullo turned in his gun after he was fired but all his other police gear was "unaccounted for", including his uniform, badge and handcuffs.

And when Gullo was arrested five years later (September 2014) for impersonating a police officer after the funeral of murdered Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson, a source who investigated the incident at the time told News10NBC that one of the badges he flashed said 'Wolcott Police.' 

Trooper Mark O'Donnell: "We're very concerned of anyone who impersonates a police officer. It can be a very dangerous situation. I'm sure it probably happens more than we know." 

News10NBC contacted the Dollar General at its corporate headquarters in Tennessee. The company told us all questions have to go to the state police. It said it has never had an employee named Paul Gullo. 

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services told me Gullo completed the Basic Course for Police Officers in 1998 and was a cop in Watkins Glen for a year and a half. 

The DCJS says he is no longer certified. 

News10NBC reached out to Gullo's lawyer Wednesday. Carrie Blakely of the Ontario County Conflict Defender's Office did not return our call.

Gullo is scheduled to be in Naples Town Court Thursday night. 

Click below for two previous stories on Gullo by News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: 

News10NBC Investigates: State police bust accused fake cop...again  

News10NBC Investigates: Cop impersonator bought badges for a police department that didn't exist

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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