Man accused of pretending to be Hillsborough deputy, pointing shotgun at people

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DOVER, Fla. (WFLA) – A man is facing several charges after authorities say he pointed a shotgun at people while pretending to be a Hillsborough County deputy.

Deputies were called to Bevlin Acres Lane in Dover around noon Monday after a report came in about a man claiming to be a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy. When real deputies got to the scene, they learned two victims had approached 30-year-old Travas Nelson Strickland about the land he was on. The victims told deputies Strickland claimed to be an undercover narcotics officer for the sheriff’s office.

At some point, deputies say Strickland showed the victims a handgun and a badge. A sheriff’s office representative says he then got a shotgun out of his car and started loading it while pointing it at the two victims.

“This man’s actions not only put people in direct danger, but impersonating a law enforcement officer can erode the trust of the community. Which is why we take this type of crime so seriously,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.

The victims saw the tag number on the car Strickland was driving and reported it to authorities. Deputies later found him and took him into custody.

Strickland was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer as well as two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

“Anyone who pretends to be a member of HCSO, or any other law enforcement agency, will be put in jail,” the sheriff said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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