Pleasant Grove police charge man with impersonating an officer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Pleasant Grove Police say Jonathan Cole was impersonating a police officer, with flashing lights in his car. He's facing charges for impersonating an officer.

Cole was standing next to his car Tuesday when another officer drove past. That officer believed Cole to be an officer and stopped to see if he needed help. That's when investigators say things seemed off.

"Nothing really kind of added up," Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid said.

"When he asked where he worked, [Cole] said in Birmingham. He seemed confused about where he should say," Reid continued. The officer finally asked for Cole to give him his officer ID number. Cole gave the officer the phone number to the police department.

From a distance, investigators say Cole's car looked like the real deal.

"It immediately looks like a police car to us, so it's going to look like a police car to a citizen and they're not going to know to ask some of these questions," Reid said.

Cole is out on bond and spoke to CBS42 Wednesday while waiting to get his car out of impound. We asked him why he told officers he was working for a local police department.

"He asked me if I was a police officer and I told him I got the car off Craigslist," Cole answered. He says the entire situation is a misunderstanding.

"I have every bit of respect for the police and I would never try to pull somebody over or you know do anything like that at all," Cole said.

The car had flashing red and blue lights that investigators say were turned on. Pleasant Grove investigators said that eventually, Cole told them he didn't work for a police department and apologized.

Lt. Reid said that Cole could have put himself at risk.

"We have tons of training to deal with people who may be armed or may be a dangerous threat," Reid said.

"This guy has none of this training. He pulls over the wrong guy or he interacts with the wrong person you know it's going to go bad for everybody involved."

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