ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — It was just another night of patrolling for Elk Grove police officers until something caught their eye.
“Officers located a vehicle that had a red and blue light bar on the top of it,” said Officer Hannah Gray.
But the car itself had no police markings. So, officers tried to pull over the driver.
“They attempted to make a vehicle stop and the vehicle proceeded. The officers contacted the driver of the vehicle at his residence,” Gray said.
Once at the driver’s home, police say he tried to tell them he was also a fellow brother in blue.
“He did allude to the fact that he was a federal agent,” Gray said.
But his act did not last very long before officers caught on.
“He was later determined to not be a law enforcement officer, but did have a vehicle equipped with some lighting equipment,” Gray said.
Police ended up arresting and charging Michael Duong with false impersonation of an officer. Even though Duong’s lights were not official police lights, police say almost anyone can have access to those types of tools.
“The mere possession of any of these items is not illegal. It’s the use in which they were being utilized,” Gray said.
If drivers are concerned of being pulled over by someone who is not a real officer in an unmarked vehicle, they suggest drivers either pull over into a well-lit area or the nearest police station.
“If you’re able to, contact the dispatch center for the area that you’re in. Let them know the vehicle, the make, the model, any information that you have and kind of the area that you’re in, that way they can confirm if it’s an officer or not,” Gray said.
Police, however, say they expect drivers to pull over to the right as soon as possible if it’s a fully marked patrol car.