by: Kristy Wolski Updated:
ORANGE PARK, Fla. - A Clay County man was recently arrested and booked into the Clay County jail on suspicion of impersonating an officer.
According to the arrest report, Matthew Kirby, 20, was stopped by Orange Park police. The report says Kirby’s vehicle had dark-tinted windows, an obscured tag and the words “caution K-9” on multiple windows.
The arresting officer said he also found a blue dash-light and a siren horn inside the vehicle.
Kirby was arrested and booked into the Clay County Jail, accused of unlawful use of blue lights.
The officer also said he found a small amount of marijuana in the car. Kirby was charged with possession of not more than 20 grams.
In light of the arrest, Action News asked Clay County sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Twisdale what a person should do if they’re ever pulled over but not positive the officer is really an officer.
He said first you should drive to a safer place if you don’t feel comfortable.
“If you’re getting pulled over by a vehicle that is not marked and has lights in the windshield or in the dash, definitely drive to a safe area,” he said.
Also, it is OK to ask questions.
“Ask the officer for his name and his ID number and call in to the agency and ask if that officer really does work there and does exist,” he said.
Twisdale said impersonating an officer is a misdemeanor, but depending on what the person does while impersonating other charges can be filed.
The Sheriff’s Office said since 2000, in Clay County 30 people have been arrested on charges related to police impersonation.