CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – Life imitating art has resulted in the arrest of a Chattanooga man accused of impersonating a police officer.
In the upcoming movie “Let’s be Cops,” actors Jake Johnson and Damond Wayan’s Jr. plays two friends who pretend to be police officers.
But in real life, Andrew Hammonds, 24, of Chattanooga is accused of impersonating an officer when police reportedly caught him in the act.
According to the arresting officer, a Chattanooga police lieutenant spotted Hammonds’ Black Ford Explorer on the side of Northbound I-75 at East Brainerd Road and said the suspicious looking vehicle appeared to have police lights on the back.
The lieutenant called it in to an officer on patrol.
When the patrol officer arrived on scene, he said he noticed the vehicle was parked perpendicular to traffic as if the person inside the truck was running a radar on motorist.
The officer said when he pulled in behind the vehicle and walked up to the driver side window to ask Hammonds what he was doing, Hammonds reportedly told him he was having car trouble and that he stopped at that location on the side of the road. The officer said Hammonds was acting very nervous and stated that he was going to the police academy for the sheriff’s office.
A major red flag was raised when the officer reportedly asked Hammonds where the police academy was located and Hammonds didn’t know.
The officer asked Hammonds about the lights on the back of his vehicle and Hammond’s reportedly told the officer that he bought the vehicle with the lights already attached but that the lights did not work.
The officer searched the truck and found a switch under the dashboard. When he flipped the switch, the rear blue lights came on. The officer also found a remote control that activated a siren as well as blue lights at the front of the vehicle.
A further search of the vehicle reportedly turned up a bunch of police decals, thin blue line plates as well as a BB gun with a holster.
Hammonds was taken into custody and charged with criminal impersonation, impersonation of a licensed professional and unlawful possession and use of blue lights.