PORT ORANGE, FL A Port Orange man was arrested and charged with falsely impersonating an officer after an off-duty Volusia Sheriff’s sergeant spotted him attempting to conduct a traffic stop early Thursday. According to authorities, the off-duty sergeant was driving northbound in the 3700 block of south Nova Road in Port Orange about 7:35 a.m. Thursday when he observed a silver F-150 displaying blue and red flashing lights, and a Florida Sheriff’s Association front license plate, attempting to pull over a dark-colored passenger car.
The sergeant turned his vehicle around and came to the scene but was unable to contact the driver of the apparent traffic stop. When the sergeant pulled behind the F-150 to take photos of its Florida license plate, the driver pulled behind a building to conceal the truck. That’s when the sergeant alerted sheriff’s detectives about the incident.
Detectives determined the truck belonged to Joseph Mercier, 54, and confirmed he is not a law enforcement officer in Florida. Mercier was arrested on a warrant Thursday night and charged with false impersonation of a law enforcement officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with license canceled, suspended or revoked. He was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail where he remains in custody on $21,000 bail pending a court appearance.