10/09/2011

Teen who impersonated police charged as adult in gun crime

Two years ago, Vincent Richardson sauntered into the Grand Crossing District station in a uniform, duping cops in an embarrassing stunt

By Rosemary Sobol
Chicago Sun-Times
The South Side teenager who made national headlines for impersonating a Chicago Police officer and patrolling the streets as a 14-year-old is in trouble with the law again.
Two years ago, Vincent Richardson sauntered into the Grand Crossing District station in a uniform, duping cops in an embarrassing stunt that led to disciplinary action in the department.
Now 17, he has been charged as an adult with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, police said.
He was arrested on May 10 after admitting to police that a semi-automatic handgun found in the 5600 block of South Throop belonged to him when officers performing a protective pat down found a magazine loaded with ammunition on him, police said.
Richardson was being held in Cook County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Just months after his January 2009 stunt impersonating a police officer, Richardson dressed as a businessman to take a test drive at a South Side car dealership and swiped a Lexus.
Juvenile Court Judge Andrew Berman sentenced him to three years' probation and a month of home confinement in July 2009 for possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Richardson also was ordered to undergo therapy.
Richardson also had pleaded guilty to false impersonation of a police officer but did not face additional punishment for that charge.
Later, Richardson went before Berman again for violating terms of his home confinement by lying to probation officers and the judge.
"I've given [him] chance after chance after chance," Berman said before sentencing Richardson to nearly three months in the Illinois Department of Corrections in September 2009.
Then in March of last year, Richardson was sentenced to juvenile prison for pushing his mother and stealing his uncle's car while the older man watched television.
At the time, officials with the State's Attorney's Juvenile Justice Bureau said Richardson could be held in a state facility for juveniles until he was 21, but they also noted that he could be released earlier for good behavior.

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