CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT
Public Affairs Office
1100 Cultural Park Boulevard
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Cape Coral Police Department Arrest Two for Impersonating Police, Attempting Traffic Stop
(July 11, 2014)- Cape Coral Police Department arrested two teenage boys Thursday night after they attempted to use their high beams and red and blue flashing lights from a smartphone to pull over a driver in North Cape Coral.
On 07-10-2014 at approximately 21:10 PM, Cape Coral Police were dispatched to a report of a vehicle that was attempting to stop another vehicle by impersonating a police officer. Officers responded to the area of Chiquita Blvd N. near Tropicana Blvd W. The caller was on the phone with CCPD dispatch and was providing updated information while the event was ongoing.
The caller advised Cape Coral Police Department dispatch that a vehicle was behind him flashing it's high beams and flashing a red / blue light across the front windshield. The caller stated that he was SB on Chiquita Blvd N. from Kismet Blvd. when this event started.
The caller stated as he was southbound, he observed a vehicle behind him with red / blue lights on the front windshield. The caller stated that he began to slow because he believed he was being stopped by an unmarked police car. The caller stated that as the vehicle got closer to his vehicle's rear, he realized that it was in fact a Nissan Altima. The caller stated that he recognized the make of the vehicle because he owns one as well. The caller stated that he was unsure if it was a police vehicle at that time., so he called 9-11. The caller stated that as the Nissan passed him on his left that the red / blue lights went from the windshield to the window of the passenger side front. The caller was able to provide a license plate number to the operator.
Responding officers observed the suspect vehicle make a moving violation and initiated a traffic stop. The investigation revealed that the Driver (Angel Torres Jr., W/M, DOB: 03-24-1997 of 2731 NW 3rd St., Cape Coral) and the front seat passenger (Christian Jose Iturbe, W/M, DOB: 06-25-1998, of 612 Wilmington Parkway, Cape Coral, FL) by using a combination of flashing the car's high beams and using a Youtube video of flashing red and blue lights on Iturbe's cell phone.
ARRESTED: Angel Torres Jr., W/M, 17 YOA, of 2731 NW 3rd St., Cape Coral
CHARGES: Impersonating a law Enforcement Officer
ARRESTED: Christian Jose Iturbe, W/M, 16 YOA, of 612 Wilmington Parkway, Cape Coral, FL.
CHARGES: Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer
"While this particular case looks to be a criminally stupid prank, cases like this can be scary and potentially very dangerous. In this situation, the victim was suspicious that the 'police car' was real and did exactly the right thing- called 9-11. Impersonators can have dangerous motives for trying to stop members of the public, and impersonators like this shake public confidence and make people second guess real police officers conducting legitimate law enforcement duties."- Det. Sergeant Dana Coston, Cape Coral Police Department Public Affairs Officer.
Here are some tips (original article):
- Observe. Take a good look behind you, especially if you are both turning a corner. If the flashing lights match those that you know are used by the local crime fighters, than you may feel more comfortable with stopping. Some agencies use all blue, some red and blue, some only red, while others may have some other color combination. If your local constabulary uses only blue and you see someone trying to stop with you green strobe lights, that could be a clue that they may not be for real. When you turn the corner, can you see identifiable markings on the side of the car in your rear view mirror. While unmarked units can conduct traffic stops in many jurisdictions, some departments require that they be conducted only by marked cars.
- Signal. Let the officer know that you realize that they are attempting to make the traffic stop. Many officers get nervous when cars do not stop when signalled to do so. They fear that the person may be getting or hiding a gun, getting rid of drugs or other evidence, or just thinking of what their next move should be. Put on your hazard lights and, if it's dark, put on your interior dome light so the officer behind you can see that you are not making those dreaded "furtive movements" for a gun.
- Call. Pick up your cell phone and call 911. Almost all police officers, deputy sheriffs, and state troopers are required to call their communications center on the radio when conducting a traffic stop.
- While officers get concerned if you fail to stop right away, both their radio transmissions and your call to 911 are recorded and can show that you were wanting to stop in good faith. You may be able to demonstrate that you were seeking verification before doing so. This is particularly understandable to the authorities if you are a woman travelling alone on that lonely highway late at night. However, that won't work if you take an prolonged period of time to do so.
- When talking to the 911 operator, give your location, your name, and vehicle description. Ask if a law enforcement officer is known to be stopping a car matching your information.
- Drive. Head to a well-lit, populated area such as a mall parking lot or 24 hour gas station. Heading to the local police sub-station does not always work late at night as many rural facilities are not manned after business hours.
- Ask. In a very respectful manner, ask the law enforcer that approaches your car door for identification. In addition to the badge, all officials have a photo ID card that clearly identifies them and the agency from which they derive their authority. When in doubt, politely explain your concerns and ask for a supervisor.