MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A police impersonator, with flashing lights on top of his car, stopped a driver early morning Saturday but was soon busted after a patrol officer stopped to provide back-up.
Ruben Yepes-Quiroz, 31, pretended to be a police officer, with flashing blue and red lights on top of a yellow 2012 Scion, and pulled over a car on Southwest 60th Avenue and 8th Street at 3:20 AM, according to reports.
A Miami Police officer saw the traffic stop and stopped with intentions to provide back-up to a fellow officer, leading to Yepes-Quiroz’s arrest.
Two of the fake cop’s victims spoke out to CBS4, saying that Yepes-Quiroz scared them and they are glad he is behind bars.
The arrest has also prompted a safety alert.
“We are asking anyone who recognizes this persons and who thinks he might have tried to pull you over to call the police or Crimestoppers,” said Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes.
Yepes-Quiroz is charged with prohibited use of lights and falsely impersonating a police officer, which is a 3rd degree felony.
“I saw his face and I was scared,” said Rodrigo Prado, who was stopped early Saturday with two friends while driving his red Pontiac. “I thought I was going to get arrested. Now I am glad this police impersonator is behind bars. You can not do this.”
According to an arrest report obtained by CBS4, it was around 3 a.m. when an officer observed a yellow scion with blue and red flashing lights on its passenger visor.
The report said the driver of that vehicle, Yepes-Quiroz, had stopped Prado and his friends Guillermo Montoya and Giovani Jesus Roman.
“I thought he was a police officer. His lights were on. I didn’t think about it,” said Prado.
“We thought he was a detective,” Montoya told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “Now it turns out he was a fraud. This is crazy. I didn’t think twice at first. I thought he really was a cop. And I was scared too. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Now I am glad he was arrested. This should never happen to anyone.”
According to the report, a police officer immediately stepped in when he saw what was happening at the intersection.
Yepes-Quiroz, as said in the report, said he pulled over the Pontiac because the men inside the car caused a disturbance at Kopas restaurant at 5757 S.W. 8th St. where he works as a security guard. Yepes-Quiroz also said he stopped the vehicle because its tag was covered with a rag.
The victims said they stopped because they thought Yepes-Quiroz was a cop.
Yepes-Quiroz told police that he was a retired officer and that’s why he had lights on his visor. He said he used to be a police explorer in 2000 in the Hammocks area.
The report also states that, “He also works for Telemundo and uses the blue and red lights for scenes and movies.”
Police confiscated items from Yepes-Quiroz’s car, including a variety of police-type accessories and two badges. One of those badges said “Concealed Weapons permit.”
If you think you recognize Yepes-Quiroz and think he may have tried to pull you over, call Miami Police or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-tips (8477).