A New York State correction officer who authorities said pulled over unaccompanied women in central Suffolk County and falsely identified himself as a police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree criminal impersonation, prosecutors said.
David Olivari, of Coram, used a flashing light in his personal vehicle to pull over vehicles and falsely identified himself as a police officer on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23, Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney said in a statement. One victim told Suffolk police that Olivari, who had stopped her on the Long Island Expressway service road in Ronkonkoma at 2 a.m., later contacted the woman and asked her for nude photos.
Olivari, 38, had the women to unlock their cellphones, then hand the phones over to him. He later contacted one victim through the cellphone number he obtained during the illegal traffic stop and attempted to initiate a personal relationship with her, prosecutors said.
The woman reported the call to Suffolk police, who then teamed up with Tierney’s office to set up a sting operation. Olivari was arrested on Feb. 8 when he appeared for a “date” with the victim.
“This defendant repeatedly endangered Suffolk County motorists by conducting traffic stops for which he had neither authority, nor training,” Tierney said. “The message here is that no one is above the law, including a corrections officer who acted so egregiously outside of his official duties in attempting to prey upon otherwise unsuspecting female motorists.”
Following his arrest, Olivari was fired by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. He received an interim sentence that required him to plead guilty to a felony and will remain on probation until he appears on Sept. 5, 2023, before Suffolk Judge Richard Horowitz. If Olivari remains out of trouble, the charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor and he will continue on probation for another two years.
“Mr. Olivari accepted responsibility for his actions and is looking forward to completing his interim probation period and putting this matter behind him,” said Olivari’s attorney, Michael Brown of Central Islip.