A 14-year-old boy accused of impersonating a police officer and going on patrol for five hours has pleaded not guilty.
The teenager appeared in a Chicago juvenile courtroom on Monday in a purple sweater with his hands cuffed behind his back. A judge ordered that he be held at the juvenile center because he could pose a danger to himself.
Rev. Roosevelt Watkins, a South Side Minister, said the arrest was shocking but not a surprise. Watkins and his wife took in the 14-year-old for 11 months after the boy’s mother kicked him out of the house for being defiant.
"He's crying out for someone to help him because he's technically homeless," Watkins.
Rev. Watkins said the teen was arrested in December, 2007 for impersonating a police officer and again last month at the Ford City shopping mall while wearing a police uniform.
On Sunday, Chicago Police said the boy came dressed up in a regulation uniform and worked five hours of a shift at the Grand Crossing District police station. It's unclear where he got the uniform.
"He has a fantasy, he's infatuated with becoming a police officer," Rev. Watkins said.
The boy reportedly was able to get a police radio, ticket book and ride with an officer for several hours before being questioned by a sergeant who realized his true identity. Because the boy had been in a "police explorer" program where he shadowed officers, he was able to follow procedures with out being noticed.
The boy now faces felony charges of impersonating a police officer.