ROSCOE CAMPBELL retired from the Philadelphia Police Department 28 years ago, but he must have felt the force was still with him over the weekend when he allegedly tried to shake down a motorist for parking in a handicapped spot at an Upper Darby Wawa.
Now Campbell, 79, finds himself on the dark side of the law, charged with impersonating a police officer, robbery and related offenses for the incident at the convenience store on State Road near Highland Avenue about 3 a.m. Saturday.
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said a man pulled into a handicapped space at the store, went inside and came back out to find Campbell in a black Ford Thunderbird blocking his vehicle from leaving.
Chitwood said it wasn't immediately clear whether the man was handicapped or if he'd parked in the space illegally, but Campbell identified himself as a police officer and told the motorist it would cost him $300 to get him to move his car so he could leave. He also showed the man a badge, a knife and a gun, police said.
"At first, the victim said he didn't have that kind of money, then Campbell asked him for his driver's license," Chitwood said. "So he gave him his driver's license and credit card and Campbell grabbed the credit card and license and sped off."
According to police, Campbell threw both the credit card and the license out of his window as he drove away. The victim wrote down Campbell's license-plate number, and about 45 minutes later police arrested him at his house on Conshohocken Avenue near Country Club Road in Philadelphia.
Chitwood said Campbell became combative when taken into custody and may have mental-health issues.
While at Upper Darby police headquarters, Campbell complained of head pain, but when he was taken to the hospital, he refused treatment, Chitwood said. He then was taken to Delaware County Prison, where he again refused treatment, police said.
Campbell was charged with robbery, possessing instruments of a crime, firearms violations, impersonating a public servant, theft and related offenses.