Westchester County has a cop-impersonating bipolar rabbi problem on its hands. Alfredo Borodowski was arrested after making bogus traffic stops in and around the New York suburb. His costume? A poorly secured yarmulke and an obviously fake and comically tiny officer’s badge.
Borodowski, a staff member of Congregation Sulam Yaakov in Larchmont, is being investigated on at least three separate incidents involving him tailing drivers, harassing them to get them to pull over, and driving off in a huff after the driver stands his ground long enough.
The most recent incident that got him arrested was back in June, when he harangued a woman badly enough that she called police to the scene. According to the complaint, Borodowski was claiming to be Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Officer 1338.
Borodowski’s is a cautionary tale for those of us unclear of how a traffic stop is supposed to go down. Some signs that the person trying to pull you over is not in fact a cop and is possibly an ordained member of a religious order: He is carrying around a minuscule badge replica bearing the name of a city agency of tollbooth operators; he wears a poorly fastened yarmulke such that it flutters in the wind when the window is rolled down; he threatens to arrest you but drives away when you refuse; he tries to make “arrests” with his plainclothes wife in the passenger seat of his car.
Luckily, Borodowski is getting the treatment he needs, according to his lawyer’s statement to CBS New York. Whether or not the diagnosis will be enough to get the charges to slide off him is unclear, but he is expected to plead not guilty later this week.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 15, 2013