Florida resident Marcos Pacheco-Bustamante was allegedly caught impersonating a police officer when he pulled over actual Miami-Dade officer Alton Martin. Pacheco-Bustamente placed a siren on the roof of his 2000 Crown Victoria and began following Martin, causing him to change lanes. He then sounded the siren and signaled for a vehicle to pull to the side of the road. Martin was in full uniform in an unmarked vehicle when the incident occurred.
Detective Jennifer Capote says of the irony of the man being caught by an actual officer, “One of the Miami-Dade police detectives working the overnight, an off-duty, in full uniform, he was driving his unmarked vehicle heading northbound on I-95 when all of a sudden a green Crown Victoria gets behind him.” Martin thought that the driver of the Crown Victoria was a real police officer at first, so he complied. “He gets out of his vehicle while he’s in full uniform, so now he approaches the Crown Victoria and realizes this guy — there’s something wrong,” Capote said. “He doesn’t look like a cop, so he immediately takes this gentlemen into custody.” Once Pacheco-Bustamante was caught, a search of his vehicle revealed an H&K BB gun replica and a police blue light. Pacheco-Bustamante eventually admitted to pulling others over in the past after vehemently denying it, initially stating, “I have not pulled anybody over.” He only speaks Spanish.
“He actually mentioned that he has done this in the past,” Capote said. “He doesn’t like people driving and texting. I don’t know if he drives around Dade County looking for people who are texting on their phone, and what he actually does. Maybe he honks at them or turns on these sirens.”
Pacheco-Bustamante was charged with falsely impersonating a police officer. He was later released from jail. He did not wish to be bothered about the strange ordeal. “I’m not going to say anything. Enough. Leave me alone, please,” Pacheco-Bustamante said in his native language, declining an interview before adding, ““I didn’t stop anybody. Enough.”
Authorities are not sure why Martin was pulled over, or if Pacheco-Bustamante noted an actual offense such as speeding or texting. Police are concerned that Pacheco-Bustamente has put others at risk on the road, has caught them off guard and caused erratic driving. They are uneasy that his intentions were not immediately clear. Capote said, ““It is a concern for us. This gentleman is telling us he has pulled over other victims. So we are urging the community to call the police if they are victim or seen this Crown Victoria even stopping people.”
If there is any suspicion that a vehicle flashing a siren does not belong to a real officer, the driver being pursued should pull into a nearby police station or another public area before engaging in any conversation. “If you don’t feel that something’s right, then get on the phone with 911. Get on the phone with a dispatcher,” Capote encouraged. “Tell the dispatcher I’m being stopped at this location, this is the type of the vehicle.” Police are asking that anyone with additional information about Pacheco-Bustamante, his vehicle or tendency to impersonate an officer contact the department immediately.