A man was arrested Tuesday for impersonating an officer so he could ride Muni for free, police said.
About 10:30 a.m., fare enforcement inspectors were conducting transit fare inspections on a Muni 9-San Bruno bus in the area of Silver Street and San Bruno Avenue when they came across a man who did not have a fare receipt, police Officer Gordon Shyy said.
When asked for his identification, the man pulled out a Department of Corrections sergeant's badge, police said. The suspect had no other ID that would indicate he was an official peace officer, which is required by law.
The inspectors than notified the police and detained the suspect until they arrived. He reportedly admitted that he bought the badge from someone on the street and used it so he did not have to pay bus fare.
While the fare inspectors waited for police, however, the suspect asked to use the bathroom and reportedly flushed the badge down the toilet, Shyy said.
He was identified as 55-year-old Norman Tanner of San Francisco, Shyy said. He was cited and released on charges of fare evasion, impersonating an officer and for willfully destroying evidence.
Investigators are trying to determine how many times Tanner may have used the badge for free transit rides.
According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, only San Francisco police, uniformed or in plain clothes, can use their badge as proof of payment on Muni, Shyy said, with the caveat that the officer should be armed and prepared to assist in any situation where law enforcement may be necessary.