There’s a famous fill-in-the-blank saying: “They told me I could be anything I want, so I became a …”
You can claim to be anything at all.
A Florida man recently discovered that this concept isn’t necessarily true.
Let’s Play Cops
Just because you want to be a Police Officer doesn’t mean you are one. Even if you get a Crown Victoria. Even if you place a Police Interceptor emblem on the side. Even if you actively look for law breakers.
These things do not make you an Officer.
And regardless of your intentions, impersonating an Officer is against the law.
69-year-old John A Benedict learned this the hard way. He made his car look like an official Police vehicle. Allegedly, he used this “disguise” to help direct traffic at the scene of some small accidents. Whether he did this for fun or out of a genuine desire to help people, one night he took things too far.
A Fake Cop Pulls Over True Detectives
It could have been the start of a bad joke. A Police Impersonator and two Detectives pull onto the freeway. But the punch line wasn’t so funny. At least not for the perpetrator.
Two undercover Detectives were driving a white, unmarked SUV. It seems they were going faster than the posted speed limit. Another vehicle tailed them briefly, and then flashed strobe lights from behind. This vehicle appeared to be a Police cruiser, so the Detectives dutifully pulled over. The other driver, however, did not stop.
The phony Police car, driven by Benedict, continued on and pulled into a nearby parking lot. While it might be easy to assume that the driver was merely grabbing some groceries – Cops have to eat too – this was highly suspicious behavior.
The Detectives decided to follow.
Parking Lot Encounter
When the Detectives caught up to the man who had just pulled them over, they asked if he was really an Officer. His response is unknown, as it was redacted from official records. We wonder if it started with: “They told me I could be anything…”
It didn’t take long for the Detectives to deduce that this guy was an imposter. Benedict was arrested. His car was impounded. Pretending to be the Police actually makes you a criminal.
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Although he made bail, Benedict now faces two serious charges: unlawful use of a Police insignia, and impersonating an Officer. He chalked the incident up to being a “senior moment”, but will have to wait for his day in court to learn his fate.