MARION COUNTY, Ind. — Investigators are accusing a former Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy of impersonating a police officer during a traffic stop in November.

A driver on I-465 called 911 to report a gray Dodge Charger flashing red and blue lights at him before pulling off onto the Emerson Avenue exit just before 3 p.m. on November 24. The caller told police the driver went even faster and wove in and out of traffic before pulling into a Speedway on S. Emerson.

A Beech Grove police officer caught up to the Charger a short while later and asked the driver for ID.

According to court documents, Joshua Butler, 42, was behind the wheel. Butler gave his driver’s license as well as a five-point star badge. He told the officer he was a “county officer” but did not specify which county. The officer did not see an identifying county on the badge either.

Joshua Butler booking photo

The officer believed Butler’s credentials to be legitimate and released him from the traffic stop.

Another deputy overheard the vehicle’s description over the radio and recognized it as Butler’s car, according to court documents. The deputy was able to confirm Butler was no longer employed with the sheriff’s office.

The Beech Grove officer and the deputy went to a supervisor with the information.

The supervisor confirmed Butler was a jail deputy from Oct. 23, 2021 until his resignation on Sept. 16, 2022. Butler was not employed by any other police agency during the traffic stop, according to investigators.

Butler was charged with one count of impersonation of a public servant.