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Man impersonating police officer pulls over off-duty sergeant

Man impersonating police officer pulls over off-duty sergeant

Sergeant doesn’t stop, leads fake officer to two Visalia PD units on patrol


VISALIA – A local man made national headlines last week for impersonating a police officer after he pulled over an off-duty cop.

Brandon Freeman, 29, was driving a 2008 Buick sedan in the area of Mooney Boulevard and Cartmill Avenue just north of Tulare when he activated a red light attached to his vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. The car, being driven by an off duty sergeant with the Visalia Police Department, didn’t pull over immediately and continued driving toward Visalia where he coordinated a top on the vehicle with VPD patrol units.

Freeman was interviewed and arrested for impersonating an officer and other charges. A passenger in this vehicle was also arrested and booked into jail for outstanding felony warrants.

“The Visalia Police Department would like to remind the public of these types of events and, when possible, stop in well-lit populated areas and request identification from law enforcement officials,” said Sgt. Damon Maurice, public information officer for the Visalia Police Department.

Visalia Police Log

Tuesday, Jan. 2
At 3:51 a.m. in the 600 block of E. Oakridge, officers respinded to a vehicle burglary that resulted in a shooting. Officers discovered 37-year-old Nicholas Wilkerson had been shot by the owner of the vehicle. Wilkerson was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for treatment. Detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit took over the investigation. After contacting numerous witnesses, the investigation revealed that Wilkerson was burglarizing a vehicle parked on the driveway of the residence. He was then confronted by the homeowner who was armed with a gun. The confrontation escalated and the homeowner discharged a firearm striking Wilkerson one time. The injury was non-life threatening. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Henry Martinez at 559-713-4156.

Saturday, Jan. 6
At 12:06 p.m. in the 2700 block of S. Burke, officers were dispatched to investigate an assault with a deadly weapon involving a vehicle which occurred near the intersection of Lovers Lane and Walnut Avenue. Sheriff’s deputies were also in the area conducting a separate investigation when they observed the suspect vehicle of the assault. They were able to stop and detained the occupants. After an investigation, it was discovered that 23-year-old Arturo Renteria was the driver of the vehicle when he purposefully ran his vehicle into the victims vehicle. No injuries were sustained as a result of the incident. Renteria was ultimately booked into jail for the assault.

Wednesday, Jan. 3
At 5:15 p.m. in the 300 block of NW 2nd Street, officers were contacted by a victim of a burglary, which occurred between January 1 and January 2, who had found some of his possessions for sale on Craigslist. The victim was able to purchase some of the property from the suspects and then contact the Visalia Police Department. During the investigation, detectives from the Property Crime Unit and patrol officers responded to the residence of Michael Arias and Lupian Santos, both 21 years old, where they conducted a consensual search of the residence. The search revealed two stolen firearms, narcotics packaged for sales, and additional stolen property from the listed burglary. Arias and Santos were taken into custody and booked at Tulare County Pretrial Facility for the above listed charges.

Thursday, Jan. 4
At 9 a.m. in the 2600 block of St. Johns Parkway, members of the Visalia Police Department’s Narcotics Unit, Special Enforcement Unit and TARGET task force served a search warrant. Officers located Methamphetamine, and illegally modified firearm and ammunition. Arrested were 38-year-old Thomas Madrid and 33-year-old Arthur Madrid. Both were booked into the Tulare County Pretrial Facility on the following charges: Madrid – possession of methamphetamine for sale, felon in possession of a firearm, and felon in possession of ammunition; Arthur – possession of methamphetamine for sale, and violation of probation

Friday, Jan. 5
At 3:23 p.m. in the area of Murray Avenue and Willis Street, the Visalia Police Department received a call from the owner of a stolen vehicle who said they had located their stolen vehicle. Just as the vehicle was leaving the area, officers attempted a traffic stop at Encina Street and Murray. After initially stopping, the vehicle fled from officers and a short pursuit ensued. During the pursuit, the vehicle attempted to pass vehicles in the dirt at Santa Fe Street and Murray where the driver lost control of the car. The vehicle continued through the intersection and collided with two parked cars. The occupants, identified as 19-year-old Andrew McLain-Ortiz and 20-year-old Toby Francis, were taken into custody at the location of the crash. Both McLain and Francis are documented Norteno gang members. The suspects were booked into the Tulare County Adult Pre-trial Facility related to the auto theft and felony evading.

Monday, Jan. 8
At 3 a.m., officers responded to a burglary alarm at Dancers Edge in the 7000 block of W. Pershing. Officers found a door to the business was forced open and found that several electronic items were missing but no suspects. A few minutes later, an officer located 47-year-old  Barry Thomas near a vehicle in the 7900 block of W. Doe Avenue. Officers determined this vehicle had been previously used in a burglary at the Ray Morgan Company in the 9800 block of W. Grove. Officers located stolen property from the Dancers Edge burglary inside this vehicle. Thomas was arrested and booked into jail for burglary, auto theft, possession of burglary tools, and possession of stolen property.

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