A San Bernardino County Sheriff's detective pulled over a man impersonating a police officer last week, but this is not the first time he has dealt with a situation like this.
Donald Patton, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department detective, arrested 23-year-old Imroj Singh on the Interstate 210 last week after the suspect, impersonating a police officer, tried to pull over Patton, a veteran of 19 years.
Patton said a Jeep pulled up behind him and flashed the lights on its vehicle.
"All of a sudden, I saw flashing red and blue lights. I just immediately assumed that it was an undercover CHP officer or something like that," Patton said.
Patton pulled over to the shoulder. But he thought something was off about the vehicle.
He said the driver turned on the vehicle lights twice and then turned them off, but didn't pull onto the shoulder. When the vehicle passed him, Patton realized it had personalized plates. He ran a plate check and saw that the vehicle didn't belong to law enforcement.
The jeep then took off at high-speed, and the detective turned on his lights and pulled the vehicle over. Patton showed the suspect his badge and identified himself and explained why he stopped him. The man reportedly said, "I messed up."
"He did say that he purchased the lights on the internet and had them installed on his vehicle," Patton said.
Singh is facing one misdemeanor count for impersonating an officer. He was cited and released.
This is the second time Patton arrested someone for impersonating an officer. The first incident happened five years ago in Highland. The detective saw that a man in an unmarked police vehicle had pulled over a citizen.
"We did a search warrant at his house and found handcuffs and a fake badge and weapons and things like that," Patton said.
Patton said the recent incident is still under investigation, and he can’t provide specific details about the case. However, he said there are several reasons why someone might pretend to be an officer, including an opportunity to commit a criminal activity such as robbery or sexual assault. He said sometimes it is an act of self-fulfillment if the suspect tried and failed to join the police force.