One attorney called it a prank gone bad.
But police said three men were impersonating police officers and trying to rob a Kansas University student early Saturday in the 1600 block of Tennessee Street.
The student told police he was in the swimming pool at an apartment complex when the men approached saying they were undercover Lawrence Police.
They ordered him to stand against a wall, took his wallet, claimed to have found marijuana and told him to pay a $450 fine, said Sgt. Dan Ward, a Lawrence Police spokesman.
The men told the victim he had to go to an ATM to get money for the fine, Ward said.
Another resident saw the incident unfolding and called police.
One of three men, 20-year-old Jason D. Warble, was charged Tuesday with obstruction, false impersonation and criminal restraint. The two other men, ages 23 and 19, were released on bond and had not been charged Tuesday.
Trey Meyer, an attorney for Warble, said the incident was a "prank-like activity" that got carried away.