A 45-year-old man suspected of pretending to be a law enforcement officer and making a traffic stop near Murrieta was free Thursday on a $35,000 bond.
Ryan Lee Meeker of San Jacinto was arrested and booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta Wednesday on suspicion of impersonating a peace officer and child endangerment. He posted bail within a few hours and was released from custody.
According to the California Highway Patrol, about 1 p.m. Monday, Meeker was driving his Ford F-150 on an unincorporated road in French Valley and allegedly signaled the driver of a sedan to pull over, using a seemingly authentic red-and-blue light bar mounted on the front of the pickup, as well as activating a police siren.
The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, complied and stopped on the roadside. However, she quickly realized after taking a closer look at Meeker, his vehicle and the child in the passenger seat that he was not a policeman, according to Officer Mike Lassig.
She fled the location and contacted the CHP, supplying investigators with videotape from her car’s dashboard camera, Lassig said.
“The CHP was able to identify the suspect, his vehicle and his residence,” Lassig said.
A search warrant was obtained and served at Meeker’s home on Lori Ann Street about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“His vehicle was found equipped with red-and-blue lights in the grille, red-and-blue lights on the rear window, and a siren,” Lassig said. “Other items seized were two handguns, an additional light bar, a total of four badges marked `security’ and a gun belt.”
The suspect was taken into custody without a struggle.
The child who was in his pickup at the time of the alleged traffic stop was not identified.
Lassig said other motorists may have been targeted, and anyone with information was urged to contact the CHP Temecula office at 951-506-2000.
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