FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A volunteer firefighter was charged with impersonating a police officer after waving a badge to reprimand a fellow driver, according to police reports.
Ralph Arnone, 52, of Bridgeport called police to report that he was following a driver who had just passed a school bus with its red lights flashing Friday afternoon, police say. The man reported that he followed the other driver into the parking lot of Syms on Black Rock Turnpike.
When police arrived, the other driver told investigators that Arnone had pulled up beside her at the traffic circle nearby, displayed a badge and motioned for her to pull over, police say. When she continued through the intersection, he swerved into her lane and again told her to pull over until she drove into the lot, according to the police report.
Arnone then got out of his car and told the woman he was a police officer, according to the report. He again showed her the badge, which was issued by the volunteer Southport Fire Department, police say.
Investigators also found that the woman did pass a school bus but at the time the bus was on the opposite side of Kings Highway, which is divided by a median. Connecticut state law does not require a car to stop for a school bus with flashing lights when separated by a raised median.
Arnone was charged with impersonating a police officer, reckless driving and a breach of the peace. He was released on a promise to appear in court, and is due to face the charge on May 31.
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