PATTERSON (CBS13) — A former Hughson mayor is accused of impersonating an officer at a crash scene in Patterson.
Canh Tram says he was driving down Las Palmas in Patterson when he came to a red light at Elm Avenue.
“I say, ‘Some car behind me, look like they are drunk,’” said Tram.
It was just like any normal afternoon of coming home after hours of dialysis with his wife who has diabetes.
“I stopped the car there, he just hit me behind like about 40 miles per hour,” Tram explained.
The truck he saw swerving just seconds before slammed into the back of his car. Tram pulled over to call 911 and exchange information, but the situation took a bizarre turn, so Tram took a picture.
“He said ‘I don’t have my wallet I dropped it somewhere. I am (a) policeman, CHP.’ He held the badge up, I took the picture,” Tram explained.
It turns out, that badge he showed is fake. The person holding it up in the photo is former Hughson City Mayor Tom Crowder. He’s now accused of impersonating an officer, hit-and-run, and driving while under the influence.
“I had a feeling he (was) drunk, he maybe (would) run away, hit and run and I got (the) right feeling,” Tram said.
He says Crowder took off within minutes.
“He used the f word a lot,” Tram explained.
We went to the former mayor’s home in Ceres to hear his side of the story but he had nothing to say. Tram says the entire situation is disturbing.
“Because he worked for government as mayor he knows the law. Why (did) he play the game with the law and (did) he pretend (to be a) Policeman, CHP and hold the badge up? That’s a big no,” Tram said.