Florida man posing as cop pulls over speeding driver, deputies say
Suspect charged with impersonating officer
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida man previously convicted of impersonating an officer was once again arrested on the same charge after he pulled over a speeding driver, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said Jonathan Shaddix, 32, called 911 around 10 p.m. Tuesday to report a speeding driver traveling west on State Road 46 in the Sorrento area.
"Having some trouble maintain(ing) lane. Originally passed me at over 100 mph," Shaddix was heard saying on his own body camera video of the incident.
Minutes later, Shaddix activated lights and a siren on his white Chevrolet Impala and pulled over the Mazda, according to authorities.
"I'm behind a vehicle that just drove past me at an incredible rate of speed. It's just incredible reckless driving," Shaddix told a 911 operator.
The driver of the Mazda told deputies that he was on State Road 46 when he passed Shaddix's Impala, which then sped up and began tailgating him, the affidavit said. The Mazda driver said he sped up because he feared the other driver had road rage and he wanted to distance himself from that driver.
He continued to speed up and pass other vehicles, and the Impala followed him until eventually, flashing lights were activated on the Impala, so the Mazda driver believed it was an undercover law enforcement officer and pulled over, according to the affidavit.
Deputies said Shaddix did not approach the driver of the Mazda but instead told him through a public address speaker to remain in the vehicle until backup arrived.
"This guy's car was outfitted with lights. There was a siren that he actually chirped, as he put it, at the driver, the victim," Lake County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Fred Jones said. "So he could have given the impression that this is a law enforcement officer who is following me."
Shaddix told deputies that he works as a security officer and he pulled over the Mazda because he believed the vehicle was driving recklessly and should be stopped. He said he reached speeds of up to 100 mph while following the Mazda, the affidavit said.
Deputies said Shaddix's personal vehicle had a siren/light bar, an LED spotlight, a push bumper and other equipment typically seen on law enforcement vehicles. He was also dressed in khaki tactical-style pants, a tactical equipment vest with a gold security enforcement office badge on it and a belt that contained handcuffs and a PepperBall gub, according to the report.
"He thought he was doing us a favor by doing all of this stuff, acting like a law enforcement officer. He wasn't, and that's not good. It's no good at all," Jones said.
News 6 spoke with Shaddix, and he defended his actions. Shaddix said that he was protecting the community from a dangerous driver.
"I'm not equipped this way by choice. It's by necessity," Shaddix said. "It just got to a point where I believed he was going to kill somebody. So I made a decision to avert the traffic around us by activating my warning lights and my siren. He took that as me pulling him over."
Shaddix said that he works as a security guard, and he has never told someone from the public that he was a law enforcement officer.
"I never approached the driver and told him I was law enforcement. I just don't see the impersonation," Shaddix said.
Shaddix mentioned a previous court case involving an off-duty Orlando police officer who pulled someone over for DUI. Shaddix argues the judgment in that case is case law that allows for him to make a citizen's traffic stop if the public is at risk.
"This is me acting in, like I said, the best interest of the community," Shaddix said. "I'm trained as a driver taking a crash avoidance training, the same training that deputies and law enforcement take."
Shaddix was arrested on a charge of false impersonation of a law enforcement officer.
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