Sunday May 19, 2013
Driver of 'Lookalike' Police Car Arrested and Cited for Numerous Traffic ViolationsSalem-News.com
Deputies found no evidence that Winfrey was attempting to pull over cars to contact drivers and falsely represent himself as a police officer.
(SALEM) - A 27-year old Washington resident was arrested and released on a citation after deputies caught him driving recklessly on Interstate 5 Saturday morning.
At about 9:24 a.m., Traffic Safety Deputy Casey Burnham was stopped northbound on Interstate 5 near Wilsonville issuing a citation when he saw a black 2009 Nissan Maxima traveling southbound on Interstate 5. Burnham noticed that the car was traveling at a high rate of speed. The car was displaying white and amber flashing lights in the front windshield, and flashing blue LED lights in the grillwork. Burnham estimated the car's speed in excess of 80mph. It was changing lanes and driving around vehicles that appeared to be yielding to the car's flashing lights.
The car was similar in appearance to unmarked police cars but it was not one Burnham was familiar with. As the car passed Burnham, the driver looked Burnham's way and suddenly turned off the lights.
Sr. TST Deputy Jeff Nicoloff was patrolling in the area and spotted the Maxima exiting the freeway at Ehlen Road. The Maxima took the southbound off ramp, but then took the northbound onramp and returned to the freeway headed back toward Deputy Burnham.
Nicoloff and Burnham stopped the car as it traveled northbound near the Marion/Clackamas county line. The driver was identified at James Winfrey of Vancouver, Washington. Winfrey's 12-year old son was a front seat passenger.
The light bar attached to the windshield with suction cups was identical to those used by law enforcement officers, but the lights had been changed from blue & red, to amber and white. The blue LED lights were identical to those used in law enforcement.
Winfrey said he was enroute to a car show and had become separated from the group he was traveling with. He claimed he was only using the lights to help him catch up to his friends. He said the lights were usually used only for display at car shows. Deputies found no evidence that Winfrey was attempting to pull over cars to contact drivers and falsely represent himself as a police officer.
Winfrey was issued a citation for Disorderly Conduct II, Reckless Endangerment and several other traffic violations.
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