Grand County Sheriff’s Office seeks information after man arrested for impersonating first responder
A Granby man has been arrested for impersonating a public servant and flashing emergency lights on his vehicle.
According to a news release by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, a sergeant with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office observed a white Toyota 4Runner displaying flashing red and blue emergency lights. The vehicle was driving on U.S. Highway 40 near the Granby Bridge in the town of Granby. The Sergeant did not recognize this vehicle as a local emergency responder and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
According to the news release, the Sergeant contacted the driver, identified as 32-year-old Alexander Johnson. Johnson identified himself as a firefighter. The sergeant knew based on previous knowledge that Johnson was not a firefighter and did not have the legal authority or proper permitting to use emergency lighting, according to the release. Any first responder volunteer requiring emergency lights needs to have specific approval from their respective agency head, along with appropriate documentation from the state of Colorado.
Johnson was arrested and transported to the Grand County jail on the following charges: impersonating a public servant (class 2 misdemeanor), illegal use/possession of emergency red and blue lights, violation of temporary instruction permit and failure to present evidence of insurance upon request.
“The public puts their trust in emergency responders, which often includes the usage of our emergency lights as we respond to emergency incidents,” stated Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin in a news release. “When an unauthorized person impersonates a public official, it diminishes public trust and will not be tolerated.”
The sheriff’s office encourages anyone with additional information on previous impersonation incidents to contact the office’s investigations division through the nonemergency phone number at 970-725-3311.
They also encourage anyone who ever has a question regarding the validity of an emergency vehicle or public servant to contact local law enforcement by calling the sheriff’s office nonemergency number or 911 in an emergency.
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