MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami mayoral candidate Frank Pichel is facing a felony charge of impersonating a police officer. Pichel was arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff’s office early Friday morning.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Pichel turned himself in Friday on a warrant for impersonating a law enforcement officer.READ MORE: Hollywood Neighborhood Stunned After Police Officer Yandy Chirino Was Fatally Shot
Pichel was parked on the 100 block of 3rd Lane in Key Largo on May 30, according to the sheriff’s office.
A resident and a friend noticed a white BMW parked for a long time in front of a residence. The two men approached the vehicle. The driver and sole occupant was later identified as Pichel, said police.
When the men asked the driver what he was up to, the driver displayed a gold law enforcement badge, stated that he was a “Monroe County Police Officer,” and that he was working on a case. Pichel also stated, “Don’t worry, I’m Monroe County,” and that he was waiting for another law enforcement officer to relieve him. The two men went back inside, and the BMW left at the same time.READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale Police Investigating School Threats
The men then contacted a neighbor who stated a man matching that description approached him in the rear of his home while he was working on his boat. The neighbor thought it was strange someone would walk onto another’s property that way. The neighbor stated the man, later identified as Pichel, asked him if he knew a contractor named Freddie. The neighbor stated he did not and Pichel left.
Security footage reviewed by Detective Ian Barnett confirmed the three men’s version of events.
Pichel has no history of working for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald reports Pichel is a licensed private investigator who was “working as a private investigator” on behalf of Miami City Commissioner Joe Carollo and “other elected officials,” according to embattled Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo.MORE NEWS: Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino Killed In Line Of Duty, Suspect In Custody
Pichel was released at approximately 2:57 a.m. after posting a $5,000 bail.