Last Tuesday, a man attempted to enter one of the largest jails in the world with a fake ID and several weapons. According to reports, the individual walked into the jail facility in downtown Los Angeles and quickly flashed his “FBI credentials” to officers nearby. When the officers stopped the man to get a better look at his ID, the man ran across the street to the Men’s Central Jail facility where he was detained and subsequently arrested on suspicion of impersonating an officer and bringing a deadly weapon inside a jail facility.
Impersonating a peace officer is covered under California Penal Code 538d PC and is described as attempting to fraudulently pass yourself off as a police officer in order to deceive someone. Dressing up as a police officer for Halloween or some other costume party doesn’t count. The crime is a misdemeanor and the potential penalties include up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If the individual uses a badge, the potential sentence is doubled.
California Penal Code 4574 PC makes it illegal to carry a deadly weapon, tear gas, tear gas weapon, explosive, or firearm into any jail facility, state prison, prison road or forestry camp, prison farm or anywhere that state prisoners are confined under the supervision of law enforcement officials unless exempted under law (which typically refers to law enforcement personnel). This crime is a felony that’s punishable by up to 4 years in California state prison.
The items the suspect attempted to bring into the jail were a fixed blade knife, two tasers and a pair of gloves. Ironically, the suspect did eventually end up inside the jail facility he originally attempted to enter with his false credentials; albeit as an inmate and not as an officer. It’s unknown what the suspect’s intentions were once he gained entrance to the facility.