TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa man is facing felony charges after he was accused of impersonating a police officer.
The Florida Highway Patrol arrested Earl Mitchell Cesario, 62 on Sunday as he was driving along Interstate 75 near Brooksville.
The Highway Patrol said another motorist reported that a man driving a red GMC pickup had tried to pull him over using red and blue flashing lights. He reportedly sped off as the victim pulled over on the side of the road.
According to the arrest report, a trooper located a red GMC pickup not far from the location. The trooper found red and blue flashing lights and a handgun inside the vehicle.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said it’s a serous issue.
“That will not only get you in trouble, it will get you a trip to the county jail because we will arrest you and then we’ll take your red lights and blue lights to use them as evidence later,” Judd said.
Judd said people impersonate police officers for “a variety of reasons.”
“Sometimes to rip people off, to rob them. Other times they are wanna be cops. They can’t be cops because they have a screw loose. So, instead they pretend to be cops, they find old police cars, they try to put red lights or blue lights forward, they try to stop people,” Judd added.
In this case, Cesario was charged with a felony.