Three men posing as plainclothes police officers stopped a teenage boy on his way home and peppered him with questions about a fictitious robbery while recording their prank in a video that ended up on the Internet, prosecutors said.
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The boy was walking home in Queens one night last July when a burgundy car pulled alongside him and three men, including Gazi Abura, got out and told him they were police officers, District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The men made the boy stand next to their car and told him there had been a robbery in the area and he matched the description of the suspect, Brown said.
The video shows the teen complying with all the men's requests and offering them his high school identification card.
"Are you lying to me?" a man's voice asks on the video.
"I'm not lying," the frightened boy says. "I swear to everything."
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An investigation led to Abura, 21, who was being held Tuesday pending arraignment on various charges, including impersonating a police officer and unlawful imprisonment, said Brown, who called the prank dangerous.
"His alleged actions not only damage the reputation of our police officers, who already perform a difficult job, but potentially could have resulted in injury to the victim or even himself," Brown said in a statement.
Abura could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.