"Officer" car leads to Polk man's arrest
WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) - The badges look real and his car even says "officer" on the side. But detectives say the man with all this stuff is a fake.
It's the second arrest in a week in Polk County of a man pretending to be an officer.
Winter Haven police were on the lookout for the car after someone said it appeared suspicious. They tracked it down to James Garfield's house.
He let an officer look in his car. It was complete with a light bar across the top, a mounted radar speed gun, a video camera, and the outside was painted with "officer" and a gold star.
They also took pictures of a bulletproof vest and badge holder.
Garfield wore a gold badge on his belt. He told officers he operates a security firm but could not get his security officer license because of an arrest for filing a false crime report.
This is the second time in a week someone's been caught in Polk County allegedly impersonating a police officer. Last Monday, Thomas Hook was arrested for doing the exact same thing.
Deputies found him with fake badges and a Crown Victoria decked out to look exactly like a police car. When he showed up to a scene with his lights on and offered to help real officers out, they figured out he was a fraud and arrested him.
Garfield, 28, is charged with impersonating a police officer and driving with a suspended license.
His fiancée told us this is all a misunderstanding; that he works for a security firm in Orlando and this is the equipment they use.