A former member of the Cheektowaga Zoning Board of Appeals was arrested earlier this month and charged with impersonating a police officer in three “bizarre” separate incidents, officials said.
Steven J. Adamski Jr. is accused of using a light bar in his gray Chevrolet Cruze to pull over three women late on the night of July 10 on streets near the town’s Cedargrove Park, just east of Harlem Road.
Adamski, 31, faces three counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment and three counts of criminal impersonation of a police officer, said Cheektowaga Assistant Police Chief James J. Speyer Jr. Each of the class A misdemeanors can carry a year in prison, he said.
“Very bizarre,” Speyer said. “A little scary, actually. He never threatened anybody and luckily nobody was harmed.”
The incidents began about 10:30 p.m. when a woman on Heritage Court told police a vehicle pulled up behind her and turned on a flashing red and blue light in the upper windshield area, according to a police report. Adamski allegedly told the woman he was “CPD” and asked her several questions – including if she had been drinking and where she worked – before leaving, police said.
About a half-hour later, a woman told officers investigating the earlier incident that she was pulled over on Winwood Court and approached by a man who said he was with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department. Adamski allegedly had his right hand on his side near his waist, which the woman believed may have indicated he had a gun, police said.
Adamski asked the woman if she was in a hurry, where she was going and where she lived, according to a police report. He also reviewed the woman’s license before driving off, police said.
Just after 11 p.m., a motorist on Allison Drive told police she also was pulled over by a vehicle using a flashing red and blue light. Adamski allegedly told the woman he was an Erie County sheriff, according to a report. The man, wearing a blue and white plaid shirt, also asked the woman several questions, including “What is your hurry?,” whether she had been drinking and if she was home for the night before driving off, police said.
Cheektowaga Police Officers Michael J. Curtis and Kevin Matusiak located the vehicle about 11:45 p.m. on nearby Ellwood Place at Beryl Drive.
“We were called and ended up finding him in the area,” Speyer said. “Sure enough, brought all the witnesses and victims there and they all identified him as the one who stopped them.”
Among the items taken from the vehicle was a light bar with a sticker indicating it was property of Erie County, Speyer said. The item on his hip was identified as a cellphone in its case, police said.
A LinkedIn profile for an individual named Steven Adamski identifies him as a member of the Cheektowaga Zoning Board and an employee in Erie County’s Department of Public Works. Adamski is on leave from his job with the county pending the outcome of the investigation, county spokesman Peter J. Anderson said.
Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Mary F. Holtz said the Town Board last week asked Adamski to resign from the Zoning Board of Appeals and that he submitted his resignation to the town clerk.
Adamski declined to comment when reached Monday and referred all questions to defense attorney Michael L. D’Amico, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Adamski is due back in Town Court on Tuesday.
Speyer said an additional woman came forward on Saturday and told police she also was stopped by Adamski on July 10.
“We’re just thankful that nobody was harmed, that this didn’t go any further than it did and we were able to apprehend him,” Speyer said.
Speyer said anyone unsure if the person stopping them is actually a police officer can call 911 to confirm it with dispatchers, or drive to the nearest police station.
“This guy, he didn’t have a gun on him, didn’t have a badge, didn’t present any ID showing that he’s a police officer,” Speyer said. “(Plainclothes) detectives will have a badge available to show that they’re a certified police officer. He didn’t have any of that.”