HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man who was pretending to be an officer was arrested Thursday after he pulled over an off-duty cop on Interstate 4 in Hillsborough County, authorities said.
According to the sheriff’s office, Barry Lee Hastings Jr., 35, turned on some white and amber lights that were installed on his black Crown Victoria and pulled behind a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy in the eastbound lanes of the roadway.
When the real deputy asked the fake one for his credentials (twice), Hastings maintained that he was a law enforcement officer and said he left his credentials back at the office. Then he asked the deputy to follow him to the “station” so he could prove it.
Hastings fled the scene after the deputy threatened to get law enforcement involved and called 911.
He was eventually stopped on Branch Forbes Road and detained by a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy.
There, the deputy discovered a functional siren box, a CB radio and a light setup inside of Hasting’s vehicle, but they did not find any firearms or handcuffs.
Hastings was taken into custody and faces a charge of impersonating an officer.