Car with red, blue lights stopped; Florida driver wearing fake badge, troopers say

Hector Manuel Bonet, 60, was arrested Friday

Hector Manuel Bonet, 60 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man is accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer after a Florida High Way Patrol trooper pulled him over for driving a car with red and blue lights.

Hector Manuel Bonet, 60, of St. Cloud was arrested Friday morning after the traffic stop on State Road 417 near Lee Vista Boulevard.

According to an arrest affidavit, a trooper was driving along S.R. 417 around 10 a.m. when his radar clocked a vehicle behind him driving 86 mph in a 70 mph zone, according to the arrest affidavit.

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The trooper reported seeing several vehicles move out of the way of a black Dodge Charger with red and blue flashing lights, records show. The trooper then slowed their vehicle and moved over to allow the car to pass, the report reads. While doing so, he also checked to see if any units in the area were responding to an emergency but found none, investigators said.

The trooper said he looked again and saw that the lights had been turned off. He then initiated a traffic stop on the Charger.

The driver of the vehicle, Bonet, was wearing a full uniform, tactical boots and vest and a duty belt, which included a gun, pepper spray, expandable baton and handcuffs, records show. The trooper said Bonet was also wearing a gold star badge, similar to a sheriff’s deputy.

Bonet denied having red and blue lights flashing on his car, adding that he was heading to work at a jewelry store, according to the affidavit.

Bonet faces a charge of falsely personating an officer.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.