A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy’s concern after observing a green 2006 Ford Crown Victoria resembling a law enforcement vehicle in the parking lot of the Santa Clarita Courthouse led to several charges set for court next month.
On July 11, the vehicle driven by 21-year-old Christopher Martinez had a push bar with lights on the front, two spotlights mounted by each front door and a blue-and-red siren on top when he was stopped by an LASD deputy with the Operation Safe Streets team, according to court records.
Court records indicated Martinez was wearing a black shirt, black officer-style cargo pants, a green rigging belt and black leather boots during the stop, which ultimately resulted in his arrest.
Officers also indicated in court documents that Martinez’s light bar, sirens, an airhorn and two cameras were functional, and he had mounted a patch that said “Sheriff” on the driver’s headrest. They also noted a pair of “ASP Forged” handcuffs hung from the handle of the mounted spotlight on the driver’s side of the vehicle, which were inscribed with the words “Leo Horny Dragon,” and the license plates allegedly were altered so they did not have any DMV information on them.
During the course of their investigation, deputies also reported that they found a flat, or wallet, badge belonging to a “Sgt. J Hausser” on Martinez, and officers received information that the suspect changed his legal name to Joachim Hausser, allegedly in order to identify himself fraudulently as a police officer, according to court records.
Prosecutors have charged Martinez with vehicle registration fraud, impersonating an officer and driving with a suspended license, according to Los Angeles Superior Court records found online.
Martinez has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 7 in San Fernando, at which time the evidence against him will be presented in court and a judge will decide whether there’s enough to merit a trial.