Men charged with impersonating law officers

June 20, 2011 at 1:20 a.m.
Updated June 21, 2011 at 1:21 a.m.

A raid at Cowgirls Night Club led to the arrest of three men on the charge of impersonating a police officer.

James Hernandez, 25; Derek Mendenhall, 23; and Randy Sparks, 18, were all arrested as a result of the Texas Department of Public Safety-led raid on Thursday.

All of the men are employees of Cowgirls, 4106 Houston Highway.

"A law was broken, and it was unintentional," said Jeffrey Tisdale, owner of Cowgirls Night Club. "They didn't know. I didn't know. Lot's of people didn't know that was a law."

He continued, "We'll move on and fix the issue."

In November 2010, the Regulatory Service Division of DPS received a complaint from the public that Cowgirls employed people, who did not have private security licenses from the DPS Private Security Bureau. They worked as private security, wearing black T-shirts with the word "Security" printed on the back of them, according to an arrest report.

About 9:30 p.m., on Thursday, DPS troopers conducted surveillance of the club and observed Mendenhall and one of the other men checking identifications of people entering the club.

When Mendenhall was approached and asked in what manner he was working, he stated he was a security officer for the club, according to the arrest report.

Meanwhile, Brooks admitted to officers that he was just getting ready to begin his shift at the club as a security officer.

"The private security laws are very clear, and people who violate the law will be held accountable," said Tom Vinger, assistant chief of media relations for DPS.

As of Monday evening, it was not known whether charges would also be filed against Tisdale.

The three men were accused of breaking the law because they were calling themselves security officers. They did not have certification as law officers so were violating the law.

The men were charged with impersonation of a police officer, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

Officers from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Victoria Police Department assisted with the raid.



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