Sunday, February 25, 2018
Public safety

Police: Man arrested after posing as cop during Pasco traffic stop

NEW PORT RICHEY — When a Tarpon Springs man was pulled over Saturday in New Port Richey, he tried to convince officers that he was one of them, according to police.

Joseph Rainier, 53, was driving north on U.S. 19 about 2 p.m. in a white Jeep Cherokee, police said, when New Port Richey police Cpl. Donald Velsor clocked him going faster than the 45 mph speed limit.

Upon being pulled over, Rainier asked to speak with a police supervisor. Velsor replied that he was a supervisor, police said.

Rainier then flashed a gold shield resembling an official Florida Department of Law Enforcement badge, police said. "You're in trouble," he told the officer.

When Velsor asked to see the gold shield again, Rainier refused, police said. Velsor asked Rainier to get out of the car. Again, he refused, police said.

Rainier was later removed from the vehicle and taken into custody. He was booked in the Pasco County jail on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence.

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