Image: Florida Highway Patrol
A business woman in Florida learned the hard way on Tuesday that state troopers really don’t like it when a civilian impersonates one of their own.
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The weird ordeal started in Northwest Miami-Dade on October 10. Two Florida Highway Patrol officers reported seeing a Dodge Charger traveling in the opposite direction. The Charger looked the part: It was painted in the same black and bronze paint scheme as Florida trooper patrol cars. It even had a light bar. But the officers noticed the decals on the side were wrong. They read “FSO Guard” with a badge made to look like a police shield.
The troopers quickly turned around, caught up with the Charger and pulled it over. When they questioned the driver, identified as 28-year-old Iulia Pugachev, they found out what was really going on; she just liked how the color looked. Or so she says.
When questioned, troopers say, the Hollywood woman first said her vehicle already had the trooper color scheme when she purchased it from a car auction. But after the troopers told her that FHP doesn’t sell any of its used units with the same color scheme, Pugachev said she had her North Miami-based security company vehicle wrapped in black and tan because she had seen FHP’s patrol units and “fell in love with the color scheme,” according to the report. She also said she had the blue and white light bar installed on her car’s roof.
Pugachev was arrested of course. Security company or not, you can’t roll around giving people the impression that you’re a law enforcement officer on the prowl. She’s being charged with imitating a Florida Highway Patrol marked unit in addition to misusing a dealer plate and for driving a vehicle with no registration. She was then un-cuffed and given a date to appear in court, the Herald reports.