Police arrest man for sex abuse, DPS impersonation

Eugene police announced yesterday that Eugene resident Kenneth Hickman, 25, was arrested Nov. 24 on charges of criminal impersonation and third degree sex abuse after reports that he was pretending to be a Department of Public Safety officer at the University.

EPD Detective Jeff Roth said two reports, including one from a male student who said a man matching Hickman’s description asked for his contact information and groped his genitals and another from someone who observed Hickman asking numerous people for their names and phone numbers, indicated Hickman had been impersonating a DPS officer for a long time.

“We’ve got students running around here who have been stopped by this guy,” Roth said. “They may have been groped or given personal information and walked away thinking it was fine because he was a legitimate DPS officer.”

Roth said he does not know Hickman’s motive, but he is concerned Hickman asked numerous people not only for their names and phone numbers but also for more personal information, such as social security numbers, that could have led Hickman to steal students’ identities.

Roth said this is not the first time Hickman has been arrested for impersonating a law enforcer. In 2002, he was arrested twice for criminal impersonation in Springfield after he pretended to be a Springfield police officer.

In 2002 and earlier this year, Hickman would walk around campus in an “ersatz” or a knock-off police uniform and would pretend to talk on a radio with other officers to convince passersby that he was legitimate, Roth said.

Hickman may be a student at the University or at Lane Community College, given that police found textbooks in his apartment, but Roth said police have not yet confirmed it.

Roth said if students or Eugene residents have information on Hickman or believe they have been stopped by him before, they should report anything they know to the police immediately.

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