SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A 35-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly impersonating a police officer to kidnap and sexually assault newly arrived immigrants, police said Monday.
San Francisco resident Jeffrey Bugai was arrested on a warrant July 10 after investigators learned that he targeted recently arriving Central American immigrants with limited English speaking ability. He was known was frequenting the Mission and Ingleside District in San Francisco, Hayward and Oakland areas, according to a police investigation.
Bugai pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges of kidnapping to commit a sex crime, assault to commit a felony, attempted of forcible oral copulation, and attempted sodomy by use of force.
Police said Bugai wore a fake uniform and drove a white vehicle similar to those used in law enforcement to mislead his victims into believing he was an officer before bringing them to his home where they would be drugged and forced into committing sexual acts, police said.
“He had a uniform with a duty belt, patches, a badge on the uniform shirt,” said police Sgt. Albie Esparza. “So if you are new to the country, you would assume they are law enforcement.”
He also allegedly used handcuffs on some of his victims.
Bugai reportedly told victims they would be deported or face repercussions if they called the police.
He remains in custody in the San Francisco County Jail on $2.2 million bail, according to senior sheriff’s Deputy Enrique Luquin.
San Francisco police investigators believe they are additional victims and are asking anyone who has been victimized by Bugai to contact the department at 415-553-0123.