Victim helps lead to arrest of suspect impersonating a Metro Police officer

The woman was pulled over with flashing lights
fake cop car, license plate blurred
Posted at 12:42 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 20:03:23-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Flashing lights in your rearview mirror usually mean you need to pull over. But, how do you know if that's the police behind you?

In one recent case, a local man is charged with impersonating an officer and his victim helped lead to his arrest.

The case in Nashville involved a woman driving with her young daughter and husband in the car.

She was turning onto Brick Church Pike when she looked into her rearview mirror.

"I turned from a stop sign and when I turned out, lights just started flashing so I pulled over," said the woman who asked to remain anonymous.

These were blue and red flashing lights in the grill of a white Ford Taurus.

So, she immediately pulled over thinking it was a police officer.

That's when detectives say 52-year-old Richard Bridges, who is not a Metro Police officer -- confronted the woman.

"He started saying you know, 'why did you pull out in front of me? And why the F did you pull out in front of me?'" she explained.

This was happening there on a busy road and the Taurus with the flashing lights was blocking traffic going both ways as the man continued to curse.

"I was like excuse me because of the language and he said it again and I said I honestly did not see you, I was trying to de-escalate because I'm thinking this was a police officer," said the woman.

"Am I going to get a ticket?" she asked. "And he said 'no, go.' So when I pulled off my daughter said 'mommy, I don't think he was a police officer.'"

The woman realized the suspect was not in uniform, so she decided to take a photo of the Taurus and plate number filing a report with Metro Police.

Detectives tracked the plate to Bridges.

He admitted to activating emergency lights on his car to stop the woman and Bridges is now charged with criminal impersonation of a police officer.

Authorities ask if others have been stopped by Bridges to report it.

Police say if you are unsure about flashing lights and whether the person behind you is an officer then you should continue driving until you find a very public, safe place to stop.

They say police will understand when you explain why you did not stop immediately.