A Maryland security guard “on a power trip” — his vehicle allegedly suited with emergency lights, loaded gun, cop-style badge and hats with “police” written on them — was arrested for the ruse.
Robert Muschette Jr., 53, was nabbed Thursday in the parking lot at the Mall of Prince George in Hyattsville, Md., after police noticed his dark green Ford Explorer driving around with red and blue emergency lights flashing.
Muschette, who lives in District Heights, claimed he worked for the “DC police,” but then admitted he was a “special officer” with a security agency, police said.
Investigators determined that although Muschette worked for a security agency, he wasn’t authorized to have the emergency lights on his vehicle — or a firearm because of prior convictions.
“This is clearly the case of an individual who was on a power trip, who is doing nothing more than using illegitimate authority to stop people and victimize people,” Hyattsville Police Chief Jarod Towers told WUSA9.
When searching his car, officers found the loaded weapon in plain view on the front passenger seat. Investigators also found in the car a police-style badge, a ballistic vest, ammunition, handcuffs, and two officer-style hats with “police” written on them.
Along with charges for impersonating a police officer, Muschette also faces five weapons charges, including a felony charge for firearm possession with a felon conviction.
Hyattsville police are also investigating Muschette’s motive, and if he’d ever had any interactions with residents while posing as an officer, urging anyone who may have come into contact with him to step forward.
“We take our relationship with our community seriously and we are concerned that members of the community may have interacted with Muschette Jr. while he represented himself to be a police officer,” the department wrote on Facebook.
Towers added: “We want to be able to prosecute him, and hold him accountable for any crimes he may have committed while acting as a police officer.”
Muschette was released Friday after posting $5,000 bail, according to court records.
He’s due back in Prince George’s County court April 10.