HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police in Miami have arrested a Hialeah man after, they said, he impersonated a police officer, and this wasn’t his first brush with the law.
7News on Wednesday pulled up behind a Ford Explorer that looks a lot like a police unit, with lots of antennas and extra lights.
Spotting a police car in the street is not out of the ordinary, but what if the person behind the wheel of the police cruiser really isn’t an officer?
The added extras in the Explorer are part of what got Hialeah resident Louis Lugo in trouble.
Lugo, who owns the Explorer, is accused of impersonating a police officer.
The 32-year-old was arrested after, City of Miami Police said, he encountered officers working the streets near Southwest Seventh Street and 43rd Avenue, at around 3 a.m., Sunday.
“And asked him, ‘Do you guys need some sort of assistance?'” said Miami Police Officer Kiara Delva.
That’s when the officer noticed what Lugo was wearing.
“[Officers] asked him, ‘Are you a police officer? Are you a security guard?’ He says, ‘No, I’m a security guard,'” said Delva. “However, when our officers asked him, ‘Can you provide proof of identification of the security company you work for?’ he was unable to present that.”
According to the police report, Lugo was carrying “a full-duty belt, including a black firearm, Taser, handcuffs, a radio, ASP baton, a badge and flashlight.”
Delva said the officers asked the suspect whether he had a concealed weapons permit.
“He stated, ‘No, I do not have a concealed weapons permit,'” she said.
Officers noticed lots of lights installed on Lugo’s SUV. One officer noticed something peculiar inside the vehicle. While looking at the light switch, there was a button stamped “pursuit.”
According to police, Lugo is no stranger to being on the other side of the law, as he is a convicted felon and should have never been carrying a gun in the first place.
A Facebook page featuring his name states he’s the founder of Florida Law Enforcement Upfitters.
Pictures on the page show other unmarked vehicles lit up with multi-colored lights.
“It is extremely dangerous to participate in the type of behavior Mr. Lugo has been involved in,” said Delva. “You do not install lights and sirens inside of your car.”
7News went to Lugo’s Hialeah home Wednesday to get his side of the story.
At one point, he pulled into the driveway but waited inside the SUV before taking off again an hour later.
Lugo’s family did not want a 7News crew around, either. They ended up calling Hialeah Police.
The charges against Lugo include impersonating a police officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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