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Investigation continues into officer impersonation incident

No new information has come forward since the Clark County Sheriff’s Department received a complaint during deer hunting week of two men allegedly impersonating a Department of Natural Resources conservation warden and a sheriff’s department deputy.

Chief Deputy Jim Hirsch said Tuesday morning that no subsequent complaints have been filed since the original report came in on Nov. 23 of two men making a traffic stop with red and blue flashing lights in the town of Hoard between Owen and Curtiss, and the case remains under investigation.

The sheriff’s office was first notified about 8:35 p.m. on Nov. 23 — the third day of the state’s 9-day gun deer hunting season — that a resident had been pulled over about three hours earlier on Willow Road by a vehicle displaying red and blue emergency lighting. The caller said two men exited separate vehicles behind them and approached the caller’s vehicle.

The caller said one of the men identified himself as being with the “Dunn County warden service.” He was dressed in an olive green shirt and black tactical pants, and had a pistol holstered on his hip and a portable radio on his lower back. The man — described as a white male in his 20s or 30s — was also wearing a ballistics vest and was driving a silver Chevrolet pickup with interior red and blue emergency lights.

The second man, who was driving what was described as a Ford Explorer-type vehicle also with interior emergency lights — appeared to be a Clark County Sheriff’s Department deputy. He was wearing a brown jacket with the word “sheriff” displayed in yellow letters across the back. He was also wearing black pants and had a holstered firearm and a radio.

The man impersonating the warden asked the caller for a driver’s license and vehicle registration. He told the caller that he could not check the information since he was from Dunn County, and that the alleged Clark County officer would have to check it. The two men then went back to their vehicles for about 5 minutes. After they returned, the caller escorted the two men to the caller’s hunting land a few miles away on Center Road. The caller said the two men then left the scene after a short conversation at the hunting property.

Hirsch said law enforcement expected they may receive more reports of the men operating in the area, but no more came in over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Officers are assisting the Department of Natural Resources with the ongoing investigation.

Hirsch said the two suspects took no apparent action to harm or steal from the caller and their motives remain a mystery.

“That’s the big question — why would you do something like that?” Hirsch said. ”We may never know unless we catch them.”