A Severna Park man got a full plate of trouble, not tacos, when he rolled through the drive-thru around 2 a.m. Sunday. Anne Arundel County police say he ordered food at Taco Bell on Ritchie Hwy., but he refused to move to the next window. Then he started honking his horn and cussing.
"You would expect that to be some kids in Ocean City doing that or something. You wouldn't expect a grown man to do it," said Nick Womick, who works nearby.
Late-night employees called police, who say Robert Knickerbocker, 47, identified himself as a sergeant with Maryland Natural Resources Police. He even gave a specific name.
"I believe he felt himself in a desperate situation where he thought that saying he was a Natural Resources police officer that the Anne Arundel County police would treat him differently," said Col. George F. Johnson IV, Superintendent, MD Natural Resources Police.
But that sergeant was home when Knickerbocker was told to do a field sobriety test. Police say he failed and was not only charged with DWI but impersonating a police officer.
"The sergeant that he referred to does work out of the same building," said Col. Johnson.
Col. Johnson says Knickerbocker was not so distant from the department. He was a volunteer reserve officer since 2006, assisting in the office and on the water, but he was not a sergeant.
We knocked, but the door closed at Knickerbocker's home. The Mercedes 300D police say he was driving was parked out front; a boat was in the driveway.
Knickerbocker is out of jail but not free from a legal battle. An online check shows all traffic citations are inactive except impersonating a police officer.
Knickerbocker's role as a reserve officer has also been suspended pending the legal battle.