Beckley man accused of threatening man, falsely impersonating off-duty cop

Local News

NEOLA, WV (WVNS) — A man was arrested on multiple charges after Greenbrier County deputies said he robbed someone and falsely posed as a police officer.

According to deputies, a man was driving south on Route 92 near Neola Saturday morning, July 24, 2021, when he saw a maroon Lincoln Continental car in the middle of the road with its reverse lights on. The victim told deputies he slammed the brakes to avoid a crash and went around the car. Then, court documents said the Lincoln sped up and tailgated him. The victim said he tapped the brakes, forcing the Lincoln to spin around in the road. When he went to go back to check on the person, court documents said the driver of the Lincoln — identified as Matthew Braden Caldwell, 37, of Beckley — rolled down his window and cussed at the victim, adding that he was an “off-duty police officer.” Caldwell threatened the victim to give him $100 and fill his tank with gas, or he would shoot him and take his car to the “chop shop.”

Fearing for his life and safety, the victim told deputies he did what Caldwell said. Court documents said Caldwell threatened the victim again when they arrived at the Go-Mart at the end of Route 92 in White Sulphur Springs. After he got to work and calmed down, the victim said he then called 911.

Investigators said surveillance footage also showed Caldwell stole two containers of worms from the store’s live bait section. Deputies later found and arrested Caldwell at Lake Sherwood. According to court documents, he was slurring his words and unable to keep his balance, along with his breath smelling heavily of alcohol.

Caldwell was charged with Unarmed Robbery, Impersonating Law Enforcement, and Shoplifting. He is in jail on $11,000 cash-only bond.

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