Man Impersonating Police Pulls Over Real Officer: It Didn’t Go Well

When Jose Flores Ortiz pulled over the car he had been following, he had no idea the driver was an off-duty police officer. The driver immediately pulled over after seeing the flashing lights. Then Ortiz exited his Dodge Durango and flashed the driver his silver police badge. But Adams County Deputy Sheriff Gilbert Abdulla, the driver that was pulled over, knew something wasn’t right. 

What tipped off the police that something was wrong?

Suspect's Dodge Durango
Suspect’s Dodge Durango | Brighton Police via Facebook

Abdulla knew something was off because being a Sheriff’s Deputy, nothing about the silver Durango with racing strips that closely followed him for miles, or the officer, or his badge, looked legit. He told CBS Colorado that after the Durango had been following him so closely, it looked strange. Then when he saw the flashing LED strip lights, he thought to himself, “This can’t be real.

”At one point, he was so close to me, it looked odd. So I reached over and grabbed my police radio and turned it on and sure enough, the red and blue lights came on behind me.” As he was stopping, he called dispatch, which confirmed no officer had reported stopping a car on I-76. 

What happened after the man in the Durango pulled the police over?

But then the Durango pulled away and looked to be after another vehicle. But soon it returned to Abdulla’s car but didn’t get behind him. Instead, he stayed in front of Abdulla and began brake-checking him. Then both cars pulled over. 

Ortiz came up to the officer’s car wearing a shirt with “Security” on it. He also had a silver badge pinned to it. So Abdulla got out of his car and identified himself prefacing his name with “Deputy Sheriff.”

What was the impersonator charged with?

Suspect's Dodge Durango
Suspect’s Dodge Durango | Brighton Police via Facebook

“At first it was an ‘Oh shoot’ moment, and then it was almost him wanting to smooth it over like ‘I’m just like you,” says Abdulla. He detained Ortiz until Brighton Police showed up. Then things got worse. Inspecting his car, the police found a number of weapons and an open container. Ortiz was arrested and booked into Adams County jail. He was charged with impersonating a police officer and several other unspecified charges. 

What should you do if you suspect that the car with its light flashing isn’t really what it looks like? Police say you shouldn’t pull over, and shouldn’t roll down your window. Continue driving at a reasonable speed, turn on your hazard lights, and call 911. It can determine if the car behind you is the police, or not. And if it isn’t a police officer, 911 can contact the police to handle the situation. 

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