A Tampa man under a court order forbidding him to possess a gun stole a pistol from a motorist while pretending to be a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop, authorities said Monday.
John Stephenson Inglis Jr., 26, was arrested Saturday on charges that include impersonating a public officer, grand theft of a firearm and violating a risk protection order, records show. He was released later the same day after posting $14,000 bail.
Inglis was driving south on Interstate 75 around 7 a.m. when he used red and blue lights in his Land Rover, a gray 2020 Range Rover model, to pull over another driver near the Fletcher Avenue exit, according to an arrest affidavit.
The man told investigators that he pulled over when he saw the lights and that the driver, later identified as Inglis, began yelling at him, demanding identification and proof of insurance, an affidavit states.
The motorist said he thought Inglis was a law enforcement officer, so he complied — handing over his documents, along with his concealed weapons license.
The motorist said Inglis then asked if there were any guns in the vehicle, and the motorist said he had an unloaded pistol in the trunk. Inglis asked to see the weapon, so the man got the gun from the trunk and gave it to Inglis, who then asked if he had bullets. When the driver handed them over, Inglis got back into his SUV with the gun and ammunition and drove away, according to the affidavit.
As a Florida Highway Patrol trooper was taking a report for that incident, Tampa police officers responded to calls about a suspicious SUV whose driver was possibly impersonating a law enforcement officer in the area of Bruce B. Downs and New Tampa boulevards.
The trooper went to that scene and learned that police already had arrested Inglis. According to a news release issued Monday and an arrest report, Inglis had pulled over a motorist in the area of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Highwoods Preserve Parkway and was holding that driver’s documents when a Tampa police officer pulled up and arrested him. Inglis had a Glock pistol that matched the description of the one stolen during the earlier stop on I-75, along with three loaded magazines.
The trooper noted Inglis was driving a gray Land Rover with red and blue lights attached to the passenger side visor. The trooper sent photos of Inglis and the SUV to the driver in the I-75 stop and he identified Inglis as the man who stopped him, according to the affidavit.
Inglis also faces charges of false personation while committing a felony and unlawful use of a blue light. Inglis lives in the 8200 block of Nature Cove Way, in New Tampa’s West Meadows neighborhood, records show.
A judge on Jan. 20 extended a risk protection order originally issued in 2019 at the request of the Tampa Police Department, court records show. Among the evidence cited by police was an incident in January 2019 that led to Inglis’ arrest on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.
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According to court documents in that case, Inglis approached a vehicle at a traffic light at the intersection of Kennedy Boulevard and Himes Avenue and asked the driver if she was having a good day. When she did not reply, Inglis again tried to make conversation, at which point the woman rolled up her window.
Inglis walked to his vehicle, got in and rammed the woman’s vehicle, according to the risk protection order petition. He then got out and asked her to roll down her window, the woman said, and when she refused he began kicking her vehicle.
At that point, Inglis walked around to the back of the woman’s vehicle, broke off a piece of the license plate frame and brought it to show her, the woman told police.
When police showed up at the scene, Inglis had gone back to kicking the doors of the woman’s vehicle, according to the petition. A witness told police he heard Inglis yelling obscenities at the elderly woman and “telling her she was going die.”
Inglis was arrested and taken to a Hillsborough County jail to be booked. The damage caused by Inglis totaled about $4,000, records show. He pleaded not guilty and the case was dismissed after he met the requirements of a pre-trial intervention program.
In the petition, police also cited recordings of 17 calls made to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Police Department between Jan. 20, 2019, and Jan. 24, 2019.
Police said during some of the calls, Inglis yelled and cursed at emergency personnel and behaved erratically, “stating the ‘purge’ is coming and claiming his father is George Soros, etc.”
Inglis’ neighbors also called authorities during that time, reporting that he had banged on the door of their home, telling them they had to leave because he owned their home, according to the petition.