Texas man accused of impersonating cop after reports say he tried to pull over deputies

Police units responds to the scene of an emergency.
Police units responds to the scene of an emergency.

A Houston man is facing criminal charges after police say he impersonated an officer and attempted to pull over undercover sheriff's deputies over the weekend, though another official says he was actually trying to break up a crowd at a street race.

Shaun Arnold, 42, was charged with impersonating a public servant and unlawfully possessing body armor as a felon, Harris County court records show. The charging document says Arnold attempted to imitate a Houston police officer.

Arnold was in a white Hyundai Santa Fe equipped with sirens and red and blue emergency lights when it seemed like he tried pulling over the undercover deputies on Saturday, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said, KHOU-TV reported.

The undercover deputies notified officers with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, who conducted a traffic stop and pulled Arnold over, according to KHOU-TV. Arnold was "fully equipped to deceive" by wearing a police uniform, ballistic vest, body-worn camera and badge, police told the station.

The sheriff's office also found a BB gun, Taser, police radios and other "police-related equipment" in Arnold's vehicle, according to a probable cause statement filed in court.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office did not respond to USA TODAY's request for comment Tuesday.

Shaun Arnold may not have pulled undercover deputies over, reports say

A senior deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office said Arnold didn't try to pull over the undercover deputies in a fake traffic stop, the Houston Chronicle reported. He told the outlet Arnold was using the sirens and lights on his vehicle to part a crowd who gathered for a street race.

When the undercover deputies saw what Arnold was doing, they contacted an officer in a marked vehicle who eventually pulled the 42-year-old over, the senior deputy said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"He wasn't trying to pull people over," the senior deputy said, the Houston-Texas-based outlet reported. "He was trying to pull people out of the way and drive through."

Shaun Arnold was convicted of impersonating a police officer before

The probable cause document also showed Arnold has a history of impersonating police officers, including prior convictions of the offense in Illinois (2002), Missouri (2015) and Jefferson County, Texas (2001).

Arnold also told authorities he knew he was not supposed to have lights on his vehicle, the probable cause document said.

Arnold remains in Harris County jail on a $15,000 bond, according to inmate records.

Flashing police light.
Flashing police light.

Shaun Arnold's attorney says people should hold judgment until 'facts come out'

Ryan Fremuth, Arnold's defense attorney, told the Houston Chronicle the initial reports about his client aren't factually correct.

"When the facts come out, I don't think that story is going to match up with what really happened," Fremuth told the outlet.

In an email sent to USA TODAY on Tuesday afternoon, Fremuth said, "As is typical, the law enforcement agency has released their side of the story."

"Naturally, their story is missing context and ours is different," the attorney said. "That said, we look forward to fighting this matter in the court of law as opposed to the court of public opinion."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas man accused of impersonating cop, pulling over deputies