PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco sheriff’s investigators arrested a man after a video showed him pretending to be a police officer and yelling at a motorist.
The man, identified as John Dawson, is seen in the video exiting his vehicle and approaching the victim, while wearing what appears to be a badge.
Johnathan Herold was behind the wheel of the other vehicle when Dawson approached.
Herold’s 15-year-old son was in the car recording the encounter on his cell phone.
Dawson could be heard swearing at them saying, “You’re going to jail. Guys, you need to [expletive] slow down.”
“He was definitely super aggressive,” Herold said.
It all started when Herold said he picked up speed in his new Corvette at an intersection on Highway 54 and Dawson didn’t like it.
“We did zero to 60 in three seconds and then that’s when he hit the lights,” Herold said.
Herold said he wasn’t speeding and didn’t understand why an officer would pull him over.
Herold said the lights didn’t stay on for long and that’s when he knew something wasn’t right.
The roles reversed and Herold started following Dawson.
Herold said he followed Dawson because, “We needed to get him identified, so that was the biggest thing, was to just to try to get the tag.”
Herold said he saw more than just police lights.
“He had the laptop in his car with the star sticker. In the back, where they would normally have a cage divider, he had a net. It was a black net,” Herold said.
Herold said he was told by investigators that Dawson turned himself in Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s just crazy to think that someone would need to feel that power to the extent that they’re going to go to that extreme,” Herold said.
Dawson has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer.
No one was injured during the incident.
“I urge everyone if they feel uncomfortable with a situation similar to this, to proceed safely to a well-lit area and call 911,” said Sheriff Nocco. “I cannot stress this safety message enough and I am thankful this case was resolved with an arrest.”
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