From the Fort Myers News-Press-
A 39-year-old Ormond Beach man was arrested in Cape Coral Friday for impersonating a police officer after he used emergency lights and siren to pass another driver, sheriff’s deputies said.We have too many of these bozos around. Click here and here to see other recent examples of people impersonating police.
Richard Peterson was tailgating another car as he approached the Cape Coral Bridge, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Schall said. Peterson activated a set of blue lights and siren in his pickup and then flashed a badge as he drove past.
The other driver became suspicious when Peterson stopped to pay the bridge toll and called police, sheriff’s Lt. Donnie Fewell said.
Cape Coral police stopped Peterson. A search of his car turned up a gold badge, a loaded .380 semiautomatic pistol and a police raid jacket.
Investigators also discovered emergency lights and a siren, according to Fewell.
Fewell said the weapon was holstered and never displayed during the incident.
There will probably not be any weapons charges since Florida law allows a holstered weapon in a car, he added.
Deputies intend to file a forfeiture motion to seize Peterson’s truck, Fewell said.
“It was used to impersonate a police officer and that’s a third- degree felony,”
I'm not a fan of forfeiture laws. They can be too easily abused, especially if a person is never convicted. I do feel if Peterson is convicted, the police should take his truck. That will send a message to all police impersonators.
In addition, he advised people who have doubts about the legitimacy of a car that is trying to stop them to take precautions.Good advice, which I remind my wife to practice when driving with no one else in the car. We live outside the Lantana city limits, but close to a Florida Highway Patrol station. I've given Dear wife the same advice as Lt. Fewell gave in the article.
“Go to a well-lit, populated area and stop,” he said. “Also, if you don’t stop for a real unmarked car other marked units will be coming, too. The real police won’t mind your caution once you explain yourself.”
Now I have to trust that my wife listens(One of her favorite sayings is "Don't tell me what to do, I'm not a kindergarten) and that local police won't overreact. My only experience with local police over years ago, had me almost in handcuffs when I tried waving down a officer for assistance with a broken down car. There are plenty of bozos in Florida law enforcement, not just those people trying to impersonate them.
Linked to-Amboy Times, Church and State, Point Five,