Florida woman charged with driving what looks like a Highway Patrol car

Florida woman charged with driving what looks like a Highway Patrol car

For all intents and purposes, it appeared that Lulia Pugachev was driving a Florida Highway Patrol trooper’s Dodge cruiser.

Which she was not.

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, so there’s at least one possible motive to explain why the 28-year-old was driving a black and tan car with a light bar on the roof along the Palmetto Expressway near Hollywood, Florida.

She was pulled over, when troopers found that the vehicle had an emergency siren, a decal that closely resembled a police badge, and the name “FSO Guard” on it. Pugachev at first said she was just test driving the car, but later admitted that she was the owner of FSO Guard, a security company, police said.

She was arrested and charged with impersonating an FHP vehicle, operating a vehicle with no registration, and misusing a dealer or manufacturer license plate, FHP officials said. The car was impounded.

Pugachev said that when she and her husband bought the car at auction for the security business, it was damaged. She said they took it to a body shop in Hollywood, Fla., to have it repaired, and then asked an automobile wrap business to install a black and tan covering because she had previously seen FHP’s marked patrol units and, according to the arrest report, “fell in love with the color scheme.”

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