When a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy spotted the truck around 2 a.m. Aug. 10, he noticed it looked like a law enforcement vehicle, but not from any department he had seen before.
“And he realized, OK, this is getting a little bit more suspicious,” Kitsap County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said. “The suspicious meter was starting to go up.”
Wilson said when the deputy saw that the small placard that read "police" in white letters on a black background had suddenly been replaced by a Washington state license plate, he stopped the truck.
At the wheel was 34-year-old Cody McMahon, who is not a police officer, but a convicted felon.
“His excuse was, well I like to play airsoft games and we play roles,” Wilson said. “But it also may help me get out of a ticket if I’m caught speeding.”
Wilson said a search of the truck revealed airsoft handguns and rifle that appeared real as well as handcuffs, what looked like a police helmet, body armor and handheld radios, as well as insignias and tools a real police officer might use on the job. Wilson said the search also revealed a fake King County sheriff's badge and methamphetamines.
McMahon was arrested and charged for illegal drug possession and impersonating a law enforcement officer.
Wilson says it's not clear if anyone has ever been stopped by McMahon believing he was a real policeman.
“We don’t know,” he said. “So if somebody has, then please come forward and let your local law enforcement agency know, or let us know.”