Columbia police arrested a 20-year-old man early Saturday who they say was impersonating a police officer and trying to arrest people at The Reserve apartment complex.
Jeffery J. Qualls, of St. Charles, was arrested on suspicion of four counts of first-degree burglary and eight counts each of third-degree assault, felonious restraint and impersonating a police officer at about 4:15 a.m. Saturday.
After a fight broke out inside an apartment at The Reserve complex, 2500 Old 63 S., witnesses told police that Qualls displayed a badge and a pellet gun to eight to 10 victims.
Police say he forced the victims, most of whom are residents, onto the ground and into arrest positions. At one point, police said the suspect placed the pellet gun to the head of an unconscious man who was asleep on a couch.
Police said Qualls made a statement about underage drinking and breaking the law and then left the apartment before police arrived.
Columbia police determined Qualls is neither a Columbia police officer nor any other identifiable police officer.
Columbia police Sgt. Ken Gregory said there is no known motive and it is not clear why the suspect was in Columbia.
As of Saturday, Qualls was being held at the Boone County Jail on $500,000 bond.