Fake cop uses pink badge after following man home, deputies say

Officials say incident began as road-rage incident in Deltona

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

DELTONA, Fla. - A 45-year-old Deltona man was arrested on allegations of following a man home after a road-rage incident, pointing a gun at him and using a pink "spouse" badge to claim he was a reserve deputy, according to authorities.

Shawn Nichols was arrested Thursday on a charge of impersonating an officer or public employee.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, a man called deputies and said he had been involved in a road-rage incident on Deltona Boulevard with a man driving a 2007 Ford pickup. The caller gave deputies the truck's tag number and it was determined that Nichols was the owner of the pickup, officials said.

The alleged victim told deputies that Nichols followed him to his home and cursed at him for driving erratically, the Sheriff's Office said. An argument ensued, and Nichols told him that he and his wife were law enforcement officers, officials said.

The victim's mother, who asked News 6 not use her name, said Nichols chased her son down, pulling up in front of her home.

"I know they're not going to be happy about this and if he's pretending to be an officer and his wife is a deputy, I'm afraid what will happen," said the 52-year-old mother.

The victim's mother said after Nichols verbally threatened her son he flashed a pink badge.

"You don't go around flashing a fake pink badge," she said. "I don't even know what a pink badge is."

According to the Sheriff's Office, Nichols showed the man a pink badge, which was later determined to be a five-star sheriff's badge that had the word "spouse" on it and was created for breast cancer awareness. Officials said the badge had been purchased by a deputy and given to Nichols as a gift.

The man said Nichols continued to yell at him as he left his home, saying, "I got something for you, and I will shoot you up," according to authorities.

Deputies questioned Nichols at his home, and he admitted to following the man to his home and showing him the badge, officials said.

Nichols told deputies that he told the man his wife was a deputy but never claimed that he was an officer, according to the Sheriff's Office. He also said he did not threaten the man, according to officials.

The Sheriff's Office confirms Nichols is in a relationship with a deputy but they are not married.

Volusia County Clerk of Court records show Nichols and his wife, who is not the deputy, are currently going through divorce proceedings.

Volusia County Jail and Clerk of Court records show Nichols was previously arrested in 2015 for battery and domestic battery by strangulation.

Nichols was arrested and taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail. He posted bail later Friday.

The victim's mother warned others, "God forbid he's on the road again, he'll do it to you."

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