Cop impersonator arrested in Luling

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 22, 2009


HAHNVILLE — St. Charles Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Luling man last Saturday night for posing as a police officer after he allegedly used flashing blue lights to pull over a woman in a fake traffic stop.

Michael G. Garcia, 20, 1405 Paul Frederick St., followed the 20-year-old woman’s car as it pulled away from a Luling gas station on U.S. 90 around 10:55 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office.

LaGrange said as the woman turned onto Paul Maillard Road, she noticed the van behind her had began to flash blue lights from the grill of the vehicle. She pulled to the side of the road believing it was a traffic stop.

The woman, also from Lulling, became suspicious when she realized Garcia was not in any sort of uniform and was driving an unmarked Mazda MPV minivan. LaGrange said she sped away from the scene just after Garcia had asked her where she was going.

The woman called authorities when she got home and deputies were able to locate Garcia sitting in the van in the parking lot of the Winnwood shopping center on Paul Maillard not far from where the bogus traffic stop took place. LaGrange said officers noticed LED lights attached to the van’s fog lights. He said the woman was able to identify Garcia as the person who pulled her over and Garcia was immediately taken into custody.

Garcia was booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility in Killona on charges of impersonating a police officer. The Sheriff’s Office said he was released Monday after posting a $15,000 personal surety bond set by Judge Lauren Lemmon.

LaGrange applauded the woman’s awareness of what was happening and the Sheriff’s Office urges caution when any citizen believes they are being stopped by someone who is not a police officer.

“Anytime you feel unsure, it is ok to drive at a moderate speed into a well lighted area before you stop,” LaGrange said. “Don’t hesitate to call 911 to let them know what they are doing.”