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Florida man pretending to be a cop tried pulling over two detectives, police say

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Two undercover detectives said they thought were being pulled over by a police officer in Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday. But the car with flashing white and blue lights didn’t belong to a police officer, but to a 69-year-old man who authorities then arrested.

John Arthur Benedict has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, a felony, and unlawful use of police insignia on a car, a misdemeanor. He posted $6,500 bond Sunday.

“Benedict falsely impersonated an officer, and took it upon himself to act as such by initiating a traffic stop in a vehicle that has the appearance as a law enforcement vehicle,” the Lee County Sheriff’s Office incident report reads.

Police impersonator attempting to pull over cars in Fairfax County

The detectives were driving an unmarked car when they saw a white Crown Victoria following closely behind them; they thought it belonged to law enforcement, according to the incident report. Lights flashed from the front windshield of the car, so the detective behind the wheel pulled over.

But the Crown Vic continued driving past the detectives and pulled into a parking lot, according to the incident report. The detectives followed, then told the driver they were deputy sheriff’s officers and asked the driver if he was a member of law enforcement. He wasn’t.

Speaking to NBC affiliate WBBH, Benedict described the event as a “senior moment.” He also denied that he was previously arrested in another state for impersonating a police officer, a claim made in the incident report by his ex-wife after she arrived on the scene.

The Crown Vic had flashing headlights and a white-and-blue strobe light in its windshield, authorities said. According to the report, the car also had a “police interceptor” emblem, which Benedict said he bought and installed “because he believed the vehicle was police edition.”

Benedict’s son told investigators that his father has helped law enforcement before by turning on his flashing lights after a traffic crash.

The car was towed and impounded. Benedict faces a May court date.

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