Austin man charged with impersonating a peace officer

Wade Novak
Wade Novak(Mower County Justice Center)
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 2:02 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – An Austin man is facing charges of impersonating a peace officer over Memorial Day weekend.

On May 27 around 4:00 p.m., two people reported to law enforcement they had been pulled over by someone who they later believed to be a fake officer. According to the criminal complaint, the two stated that they had been pulled over at Culvers in Austin and are not from Minnesota and were driving a car with out of state plates.

They were driving westbound on 17th Ave NW when a red Ford Mustang approached them from behind with flashing police lights and a flashing headlight. One of the victims believed the plate on the car to have something similar to “NAPA.” They stopped the car in the parking lot and rolled down the window.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Wade Novak, 58, of Austin, pulled up next to them.

They stated Novak flashed a badge at them and said “in Minnesota we drive 30 miles per hour.” The driver said he told Novak that he was only driving 35 mph and he replied, “you were going closer to 40, I have a clocker right here.”

The driver said he asked Novak if the Mustang was an official police vehicle and Novak told them he was a detective and this was his vehicle. Both victims noted he was smirking throughout the incident, which they found to be unusual for a detective to do during a traffic stop.

The driver stated he and Novak argued about the speed and then Novak got into the Mustang and left the parking lot.

The victims went to the Mower County LEC to file a report regarding the incident. Both victims said they believed the Novak was a police officer because he was attempting to pull them over and flashed a badge. Officers retrieved video from Culvers, which showed them pulling into the parking lot immediately followed by the red Mustang that had flashing lights on the dash.

The Mustang was identified as belonging to Novak. The license plate was NAPD4FN, which is a company started by Novak that stands for “Never Alone Principle Defenders.”

Court records show that Novak was charged for impersonating a police officer in 2011, but those charges were dismissed.

Officers went to Novak’s home where the Mustang was parked in the driveway and he was wearing a “NAPD” hat as well as a white shirt with a police badge logo of “NAPD.”

Novak denied telling the victims he was a peace officer, flashing a badge or having flashing lights on his vehicle. He said he advised the other driver of the speed limits in town and on the interstate and then gave them a thumbs up and left.

A search warrant was obtained for the Mustang and officers located a badge resembling a police officer’s badge and emergency lights on both the front and back of the vehicle. They collected two strobe lights, a vehicle dash camera, and the NAPD badge.

Novak’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 8.

Editor’s note: Mr. Novak appeared on “Midwest Access” on two separates occasions in his capacity as a business owner in December 2022 and January 2023.