Cop impersonator shoots at woman in Atascadero

April 24, 2020

Steven Ladwig

An Atascadero man who had been pretending to be a law enforcement officer allegedly fired a shot into the vehicle of a woman attempting to get away from him, police said.

On April 11, at 2:20 a.m., police responded to reports of a shooting in the area of Buena Fortuna Circle and Avenida Maria in Atascadero and found a female who said she had been sitting in her vehicle when she was approached by a man. The man shined a flashlight into the vehicle, identified himself as a law enforcement officer and displayed a handgun, the victim said.

The woman questioned the man’s identity, and fearing for her safety, immediately drove off.

As the woman drove away, the man fired one shot at the victim’s vehicle. The bullet traveled through the taillight of the car, into the passenger side of the vehicle and ultimately struck the woman in the shoulder. However, the bullet did not penetrate the woman’s skin because the velocity of the round had slowed as it traveled through through the trunk of the vehicle, as well as a seat.

Detectives investigated the shooting, developed a lead and identified the shooter as Steven Ladwig, 65.

On Wednesday, detectives served a search warrant in the 10000 block of Los Pueblos in Atascadero. Officers contacted Ladwig, interviewed him and seized items of evidence related to the shooting.

Following the search, detectives arrested Ladwig on felony charges of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle.

Officers booked Ladwig into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. He is not currently listed as being in custody, according to the county sheriff’s office website.

Jorge Estrada

Impersonating a peace officer should be jail without bail when attempting what with a lady at night. Are there others? What does he do with them? I read nothing in this that could have been an innocent inquiry by a neighborhood watch.


Already out on bail? I thought a mental case such as this would not have bail as an option.


Right between the the new low income housing where the incompetent developer fleeced government funding and the juvenile probation center loftily titled “La Paloma High School”.


Wait, Not in custody? If there ever was a case for no bail this guy’s it! What would he have done if he had “Arrested” her?


Why oh why is that nut job back out on the street already? Who in their right minds would let him out, they are nut jobs too!


Why in the hell wasn’t he remanded?

Francesca Bolognini

Now, you see, if that guy were never allowed to own another fire arm, I would be just fine with it!


You’ll likely get your wish (felons can’t be around firearms nor own one) PROVIDED D.A. Dow doesn’t plea bargain it down to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Although I believe a judge also could apply a ten year statutory firearms ban under some lesser offense statute. .

What an idiot. Bail should’ve been a quarter mil, required in FULL, IN GOLD bullion. .

Francesca Bolognini

BAIL? BAIL? That guy should never have been allowed out. Why should money be a factor when it is obvious that this guy is DANGEROUS? The assault with intent and the discharge of a weapon in the process should be enough to keep him incarcerated until trial.

I hate the whole bail concept. People should not get freedom based on whether they can buy it. It should be decided on the basis of their threat to society and possibility of doing a runner. And mental cases with criminal tendencies fit both categories. I would imagine that the cops who arrested him would be pretty frustrated by his release.


He should never be free again, let alone own a firearm!