Woman accused of pretending to be officer

HOUSTON - A woman has been accused of pretending to be a law enforcement officer at a party, and neighbors said it isn't the first time she's made that claim.

Laura Maxwell, 51, has been charged with impersonating a public servant.

Witnesses said Maxwell flashed a badge and tried to force her way into a party at a neighbor's house, claiming someone there had taken a shot at her.

Maxwell was stopped by the homeowner's 23-year-old son, witnesses said. According to witnesses, Maxwell claimed she was a federal agent and that shots were fired from the home.

Harris County sheriff's deputies were called out to the home and arrested Maxwell.

Neighbors said Maxwell has presented herself as a law enforcement officer in the past, and one claimed that she has barged into his home before.

"She knocked on my door and said, 'I'm hungry. Do you have anything to eat?" neighbor Tom Auld said. "I said, 'I don't know … might have some cookies. She ran straight into the pantry, went through the ice box."

Auld said Maxwell takes in boarders at her house, some of whom are panhandlers. When KPRC Local 2 knocked on her door on Tuesday, Jack McKinney answered the door. He said Maxwell is a friend, disabled and living on Social Security. He said Maxwell offers shelter to people who need help.

"Just a lady with a good heart that helps people out," McKinney said. "We help her out however we can, you known, money-wise."

Auld said he hopes Maxwell doesn't come back home.

"Seventeen years of hell is what I've had out of her," Auld said.

Maxwell is being held in the Harris County Jail with bond set at $5,000.

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