An alleged police impersonator targeted the wrong victim in Colorado on Saturday.
Adams County Deputy Gilbert Abdulla was driving in his personal car to an off-duty assignment when he spotted the suspicious driver on Interstate 76, according to local news outlets.
The suspect was in a Dodge Durango, which suddenly drove up close to the back of Abdulla’s truck. He said he noticed a strip of LED lights in the car’s windshield.
“At one point he was so close to me it looked odd, so I reached over and grabbed my police radio and turned it on,” Abdulla said to KCNC-TV. “Sure enough the red and blue lights came on behind me.”
The deputy said he allowed the suspect vehicle to pass and radioed dispatch for the Brighton Police Department, which confirmed that no officer was attempting to pull him over.
Abdulla continued to follow the suspect. He watched the driver try to pull over another car before antagonizing the deputy again, slamming on his brakes and brake-checking Abdulla.
The car finally pulled over and Abdulla followed. The man who got out of the Durango, now identified as Jose Flores Ortiz, was wearing a security shirt and carrying a silver badge. He only realized his mistake when Abdulla identified himself.
The deputy detained Ortiz until Brighton police arrived. In the suspect’s car, officers found weapons and open containers of alcohol. They arrested Ortiz for impersonating a police officer, driving under the influence of alcohol and prohibited use of a weapon, among other charges.
If you believe you are being pulled over by a potential police impersonator, you should put on your flashers, drive the speed limit and call 911, according to safety tips from the Colorado State University Police Department. Then ask the 911 dispatcher to verify if the car is a law enforcement officer.
You should not flee from the other vehicle, nor should you stop and get out of your car until a dispatcher can confirm that you are being pulled over by a police officer.
In May, a Texas man was arrested for allegedly dressing like an officer with the San Antonio Police Department, demanding entry into a home, confiscating the homeowners’ cell phones and fleeing the scene.
Another man made Ortiz’s mistake in Pasco County, Florida, setting up a police light bar and red and blue lights on his Chevy Trailblazer in strenuous efforts to embody a cop—until he pulled over a real undercover detective in 2019.
And in 2018, an off-duty cop in Kentucky was shot and killed by a man impersonating a police officer.
Newsweek reached out to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
The post Alleged Police Impersonator Arrested After Pulling Over Real Cop appeared first on Newsweek.