Man accused of impersonating police officer says he's 'passionate about law enforcement'

Hugo Hernandez web.JPG
Hugo Hernandez (PBSO)

A 57-year-old man's so-called passion for law enforcement got him arrested when he pretended to be a police officer, Palm Springs police said.

Hugo Hernandez was pulled over at 99 Henthorne Drive on Tuesday when police noticed his red Ford Taurus had two red and blue lights flashing in the front windshield above the rearview mirror, according to an arrest report. When an officer approached his vehicle, Hernandez was taking off two badges from around his neck. One stated "special police" and the other was a shield with some unknown numbers on it.

When asked why he had the red and blue lights in his vehicle, Hernandez told the officer he is "passionate about law enforcement," according to the arrest report. The officer asked Hernandez to step out of the vehicle.

Hernandez was then detained and his vehicle was searched, according to an arrest report. Police discovered several police badges, a LAPD SWAT badge, fake police ID cards, another set of red and blue lights, as well as other police badges.

When he was questioned as to why the lights were installed his vehicle, Hernandez said he is a fanatic of police lights and police work, according to an arrest report. When asked why he was wearing the badges on his neck, he denied wearing them, but said he was taking the ones off his mirror to not get in trouble. He also said he had another collection of badges he randomly put in his car the other day.

Hernandez is now facing charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer. Jail records show he was released Wednesday morning after posting a $3,000 bond.