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Pa. Officer Dresses as Woman to Stop Flasher

Helene Pavlov was curling her hair when she saw her son-in-law on the 5 p.m. news -- dressed as an Amish woman.

Pulaski Sgt. Chad Adams had gone undercover, and his garb became national news.

"He's a good cop, he does his job, and he's always thinking ahead, thinking of other people," said Pavlov, who lives in West Middlesex.

In January, an unidentified man was allegedly preying on Amish children in Lawrence County, approaching them in his vehicle and exposing himself. Adams donned a dress, cloak and bonnet borrowed from local Amish women to attempt to catch him in the act and arrest him.

Adams didn't catch the suspect. But he said he thinks the suspect was caught in neighboring Mercer County, because the incidents in his township stopped.

On April 9, Adams put a photo of himself in his Amish undercover outfit on Facebook. "Hey, friends, sometimes being a police officer means going undercover and doing what you have to do to catch the bad guy," he wrote.

The post went viral, eliciting more than 1,070 likes, 140 comments and 210 shares by Tuesday evening. It drew a national media spotlight to Pulaski, which is about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh near the Ohio border. Lawrence County emergency dispatch officials estimated at least 50 media outlets called seeking to interview Adams or a Pulaski official.

During the investigation, Adams was assisted by a female officer from nearby Wampum, who also dressed in Amish garb.

The Amish didn't want their children to testify in court and agreed to lend police the women's bonnets, aprons and dresses in hopes of catching the suspect.

Adams told The Associated Press that the Amish were "not at all" concerned about him dressing in their traditional clothes, despite their conservative beliefs.

"I wondered that myself, but I asked, and they were all for it," the sergeant said. "They didn't want this man around here; they didn't want this to continue."

Adams said the suspect -- whose car was seen in the area -- is due to be released from house arrest soon.

"I figured if I put this out there, maybe it would deter him or others from even considering doing this in the future," Adams said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 or mdaniels@tribweb.com.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

 

 

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