WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A Wesley Chapel man is behind bars after deputies say he was caught impersonating law enforcement.
According to the Pasco Sheriff's Office, Yordis Fornaris tried to pull over a married couple and their friend Thursday night in Wesley Chapel using his black Crown Victoria. The vehicle was equipped with multiple white strobe lights and a forward-facing spot light.
"I thought we were getting pulled over. I mean it looked that good. I really thought we were getting pulled over," one of the victims told ABC Action News.
The three victims told the sheriff's office when they noticed the suspect was not an actual law enforcement officer they sped away. But according to the sheriff's office, the suspect then tried to stop the vehicle a second time. The victims confronted the suspect about not being a police officer and that's when he allegedly fled.
Detectives arrested Fornaris,47, at 7007 Penta Place after spotting his vehicle in the driveway. They are still working to identify if there are any other victims that may have been pulled over in the area.
Earlier this year in Hernando County, there were three cases in nine days involving people posing as police.
"There's people out there that try to play cop," said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. "They want to go out there and they want to pretend that they're a law enforcement officer. It can be extremely dangerous."
If you ever have a suspicion about who is pulling you over, the Pasco Sheriff's Office recommends drivers slow down and turn on their flashers until they are in a well-lit area.
Nocco says call 911, dispatch should be able to verify if it is actually a real police officer pulling you over. If someone makes contact with you, drivers also have the right to ask for their identification and a marked patrol car to come to the scene.
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