Mesa man arrested for impersonating officer; tried to pull over troopers
Jul 12, 2018, 8:58 PM | Updated: Jul 13, 2018, 2:59 pm
(Arizona Department of Public Safety photo)
PHOENIX — A Mesa man was arrested for impersonating a police officer after he allegedly attempted to pull over two Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers this week.
Matthew Allen Disbro, 44, allegedly tried to pull over the troopers as they were driving in an unmarked yellow Ford Mustang on the State Route 51 on Wednesday.
The troopers saw Disbro’s black Dodge Charger, which was equipped with law enforcement-style emergency lighting in its rear window.
They ran the license plate and found the car was registered to a private citizen.
Disbro then allegedly activated his red and blue flashing lights in an attempt to pull the troopers over.
When the troopers would not pull over, Disbro allegedly “drove alongside the troopers and…began yelling and waving his hand” at them, a press release said.
The troopers, who were not identified, then activated their own emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop on Disbro. They then discovered that Disbro was a uniformed armed security guard who was driving in his personal vehicle.
Disbro was then arrested for impersonating a police officer and booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office jail.
“Motorists need to feel confident that when they are pulled over by law enforcement they are dealing with a state – certified peace officer,” AZDPS Major Deston Coleman of the Highway Patrol Division said in a statement.
“Criminal behavior like that exhibited by the suspect, undermines public confidence and makes it difficult for troopers and other law enforcement officers to perform their job.
“If you are a victim or you know someone who was stopped by this character, we would like to know,” Col. Frank Milstead of Arizona Department of Public Safety told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Friday.
“He obviously got into a lot of trouble to create this lookalike car and put some money into it, so it has happened and we would like to know who those people are.”
Milstead said drivers can ask an officer for identification if they believe the person pulling them over is not legitimate, or they can call 911 and have a dispatcher walk them through pulling over in a safe space.
Anyone who has had contact with the suspect or has been stopped by a Dodge Charger with law enforcement-style emergency lights are encouraged to contact the department at 602-644-5805.