Man Who Impersonated Police Officer Arrested

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

A Harrisonburg man is behind bars for pretending he was a police officer and trying to get into people houses several times over the weekend.

He's 40 year old James Eastwood. Harrisonburg Police told us he's new to the area and homeless.

Eastwood was arrested after he walked into the lobby of the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office. He started asking whether anyone had pressed charges against him, or if there were any warrants out for his name. The deputies on duty realized he fit the description that so many had given.

The majority of them were JMU students.

Morgan Heddon was hanging out with some friends Friday night when someone, she now knows was Eastwood, walked in her front door.

"We went to see who it was, and when they saw us they started acting kind of funny and said that they were undercover cops because they had gotten a call about marijuana smoke," she said.

Heddon said Eastwood attempted to flash a Harrisonburg Police officer's business card he had printed on a piece of paper. When she asked him to step outside, he started getting a little worried.

"He said he didn't want to cause any trouble and he didn't want to have to call the police," she said. "He got a phone call, and he said that the police were on their way. He kept saying all these code words like police. Like 4199, like 877. It didn't make any sense."

Eastwood eventually left and Heddon called the actual police.

Officers say that over the weekend Eastwood tried to make his way into several houses on at least six different streets.

He climbed in the open window of a sorority house on Campbell Street.

"He came into our house and he didn't take a single thing," said Kelly Lynch. "He just went right up the stairs and tried to get into one of my roommates rooms. It was locked. Thank god. She was inside. After he couldn't get in, he just ran, bolted down the stairs and went out the back door."

Even though Eastwood has been caught after his rampant weekend, we found some people that said more than a month ago someone had been hiding out in their bathroom. When we showed them Eastwood's picture, they said it was the same guy.

"We were just sitting down and he walked down really quickly down the stairs," said James Chung. "When we checked the bathroom a little bit later, the window was open. It seemed like he was trying to get out there, but that window is a little bit stuck. "

JMU officials issued a warning to students at 11 p.m. Saturday night.

Heddon said Harrisonburg Police contacted her at midnight to verify Eastwood was the man she saw.

H.P.D. wants to remind everyone that all officers carry official badges and can identify themselves upon request. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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