A Florida man pretending to be a police officer was arrested on Thursday after his ruse was uncovered when he accidentally pulled over a real off-duty cop.
Barry Lee Hastings, Jr., 35, flagged down a Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was driving in Hillsborough on Thursday night.
According to the official police report, Hastings was travelling in a black Crown Victoria with white and amber lights, and he had his his emergency lights activated.
Hastings is alleged to have exited his car, and approached the real officer’s vehicle where he warned him to ‘slow down’.
Sensing that something was not right, the deputy twice asked Hastings to produce his credentials.
Hastings replied that ‘he was a law enforcement officer and his credentials were at the office’.
The real officer then phoned 911, prompting Hastings to flee down the freeway.
He was later caught and detained by a member of the Hillsborough Country police department.
A search of Hasting’s vehicle uncovered a functional siren box and light setup, similar to the ones used by the real county police.
His car also contained a dispatch radio and a sticker on the dashboard which read: ‘Use overdrive during high pursuit’.
No handcuffs or firearms were found inside the car.
Hastings was arrested for impersonating a public officer.
It’s unclear how long Hastings had been pulling over unsuspecting citizens while pretending to be a law enforcement officer.
Police did not mention a motive for the man’s bizarre behavior in their official report.