Cell phone video leads to arrest of Pasco man for impersonating a law enforcement officer

Fake cop threatened father and son out on a drive
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 23:11:27-04

Pasco Sheriff's detectives arrested a man for impersonating a law enforcement officer.

According to officials, 49-year-old John Dawson pretended to be a police officer and shouted at a motorist who was sitting inside of his vehicle at the time. Video then shows Dawson exit his vehicle and approach the victim while wearing what appears to be a badge.  




"Up to the very last moment I still wasn't a hundred percent sure because when he got out of the car he had the laptop, and he had the big star sticker on the laptop, and badge," Johnathan Herold said.

 Herold was out for a Sunday drive, in his new Corvette, with his 14-year-old son when he says Dawson turned on blue lights and started following him. Herold said he wasn't speeding and with the type of car Dawson was driving, didn't think he was a real law enforcement officer.  

"When we turned into the subdivision there he killed his lights and took off," Herold said. "So, my son and I both looked at each other like, OK he's not a cop, and we took off after him."

Herold told his son to record Dawson's license plate number to call the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and report the fake officer. In the video you can see a man, deputies identified as a Dawson, screaming the F-word telling Herold he is "going to jail!"

"You know what I'd like to say, that I think is kind of funny, cause if you hear in the video the first thing he says to me is...'your going to jail' the only thing I'd like to ask him is who is going to jail now," Herold said with a laugh.

No one was injured during the incident, but Sheriff Nocco said, "I urge everyone, if they feel uncomfortable with a situation similar to this, to proceed safely to a well lit area and call 911. I cannot stress this safety message enough and I am thankful this case was resolved with an arrest."

Dawson has been charged with impersonating a LEO a third degree felony.