Florida’s men always seem to be getting themselves into sticky situations, and the latest saw a fake police officer pulling over a police officer who was pretending not to be a police officer.
Are you still with me?
Today’s Florida man is Matthew Joseph Erris, who, for reasons that are still unclear, decided to impersonate a police officer.
The 26-year-old was arrested in the Tampa Bay area last Tuesday (April 16), after allegedly flashing red and blue lights from his 2007 white Chevrolet Trailblazer in order to pull over another driver.
I’m not exactly sure what Erris expected to get out of that interaction. Perhaps he had good intentions, and was trying to help the police catch those breaking the law? Though breaking the law himself certainly wouldn’t be the best way to go about that.
Maybe he simply liked the thrill of making another car stop on command? Either way, it’s not like he could give out real tickets or actually arrest the driver.
Whatever his reasoning, the 26-year-old made a mistake when he chose to pull over a real, albeit undercover, police officer.
According to NBC News, the undercover detective, who was with the sheriff’s department, called the 911 dispatcher to report an unusual traffic stop after being pulled over by Erris.
The detective then kept track of the impersonator’s vehicle until sheriff’s deputies could respond. Deputies searched the Florida man’s vehicle, and discovered Erris had really gone to some effort in an attempt to look like a police officer.
In his car, the 26-year-old carried an airsoft gun in a holster. While the weapon was non-lethal, it was designed to look similar to a standard-issue firearm, and could be enough to threaten any unsuspecting citizens.
Officers also found the Trailblazer had a light bar installed at the top of the SUV, enabling him to flash the red and blue lights.
It seems like Erris should have just pursued a career as a police officer – it would have been a much more moral way to get his hands on the flashing lights and police gear.
An arrest report by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office explained Erris was charged with impersonating an officer and released on Thursday on a $2,000 surety bond.
The sheriff’s department have asked for anyone who may have fallen victim to Erris’ impersonations to contact their office.
Hopefully the 26-year-old will find a more legal and legitimate way to pass his time in the future!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.