A 45-year-old Riverside County man who outfitted a Ford F-150 pickup with lights and a siren was arrested after impersonating a police officer and making a traffic stop with a child in his vehicle, authorities said.
The suspect, a San Jacinto resident, was arrested Wednesday after the red and blue lights, flashing in the pickup’s grille and rear window, and a siren failed to fool a driver in French Valley.
The driver suspected something was wrong during the traffic stop and left the scene. The driver’s dashboard camera captured the bizarre encounter, helping California Highway Patrol officers in the search for the police imposter.
A child also was in the pickup, according to the CHP. Details about the child’s age and relationship to the man were not immediately available.
The suspect was arrested Wednesday morning at his home, where CHP officers also found the white pickup with lights and siren. Officers also seized two handguns, a light bar, four badges marked ‘security’ and a gun belt.
“Based on inherent dangers of police work and traffic stops and the fact that the suspect had a juvenile in the vehicle while he made the traffic stop, the additional charges of child endangerment were included,” the CHP said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear whether the suspect has an attorney.
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Anyone who might have been stopped in the French Valley area by someone driving a white Ford F-150 with red, white, and blue lights in the grille can call the CHP at 951-506-2000.