The latest Florida Man tale: A Deltona man impersonating a police officer uses a public warning system on a real cop.
A Deltona man playing policeman caught up to a real one and used an illegal public address system and lights to warn a sheriff’s sergeant driving an unmarked vehicle in Pierson, Volusia sheriff’s officials said.
Shortly after that, Sgt. Todd Smith turned on his real blue lights and pulled over Thomas Farmer, 64.
Farmer was arrested on Tuesday and charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, a third-degree felony.
When the sergeant investigated the incident further, he learned that Thomas had previously been warned twice by deputies to stop using his horn, loudspeakers and lights, as his behavior is consistent with impersonating a police officer, his arrest report shows.
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On Sunday, Farmer used his light for a third time and told the sergeant that he thought he was dealing with a Pierson local but the sergeant told Farmer that what he was doing was criminal and unacceptable, reports show.
An investigation showed that in May 2012, Farmer tried to pull over a motorist in Deltona by sounding his siren and public address system mounted on his vehicle. The motorist thought Farmer’s vehicle to be suspicious and reported the incident to deputies, a report states.
Deputies found the vehicle at Farmer’s Wisteria Court home. When asked about sounding his siren, Farmer said that motorist had confronted him in a road rage situation. Farmer told the deputy he didn’t report the road rage because he didn’t want to inconvenience the Sheriff’s Office, reports said.
The deputy warned Farmer to stop his behavior, documents outlined.
Another incident was reported in August 2009 by Brandon Cobb, who is now a Volusia deputy. In that case, Farmer activated his siren and yelled at Cobb telling him to move over, reports detail.
Again in 2009, a deputy pulled over Farmer and warned him to stop, investigators said.
Then on Sunday, Farmer caught Sgt. Smith’s attention with his Chevy Avalanche pickup decked out with equipment similar to that used by law enforcement officers, a report said.
Farmer’s vehicle had two antennas, horizontal lights, a light bar was visible in the tinted rear window, a radar was mounted on the dash as well as Mobile Digital Communicator (mobile police computer).
Smith followed Farmer’s vehicle from DeLand to Pierson. In Pierson the sergeant stopped at a light and Farmer pulled next to him and used his loudspeaker system to warn the sergeant, reports show.
Farmer didn't get another warning this time but rather, a trip to jail where he was locked up on Tuesday on $2,500 bail.
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This story originally published to news-journalonline.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network.