Man accused of impersonating officer, attempting to abduct woman appears in court

Local News
Randall Tharp, for web_1541273038240.jpg.jpg

A man accused of impersonating a police officer and attempting to abduct a woman appeared in Franklin County MunicIpal Court on Monday.

Columbus Police say Randall Tharp, 35, tried to abduct a Columbus woman three times last week. The first two times Tharp allegedly told the woman he was a police officer.

The first incident happened Thursday near South Weyant Avenue and East Mound Street. Tharp, wearing a bulletproof vest, a ball cap that said “POLICE” and carrying a handgun ordered the woman into his car. She fled when he failed to produce a badge.

Then, on Friday, Tharp allegedly drove by the same woman’s home twice. The woman told officers he was wearing “police looking” attire and carrying a gun. She said he again ordered her into his car. The woman was able to flee her home both times.

Tharp was taken into custody on Friday. He is charged with one count of attempted abduction and one count of impersonating a police officer. A judge set Tharp’s bond at $250,000. Tharp has a criminal history including kidnapping and sex offenses. His next court date is Nov. 13.

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