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Man pretending to be an officer loses his 'police' car, goes to jail

Midland man tried to pass himself off as an Orillia OPP officer
justice

Despite his pleas with the court, a Midland man on disability benefits has lost his Chevrolet Malibu, which was equipped to look like an unmarked Ontario Provincial Police criminal investigations vehicle.

Brandon Waites was also told to return to jail for 75 days after being given credit for the 70 days he’s been locked up awaiting his day in court on Friday. In total, he was handed a 180-day sentence after pleading guilty to impersonating a peace officer, assaulting an officer and threatening police.

“If you take that vehicle away, your honour, I will have no transportation for my children,” said Waites.

“You outfitted a vehicle to resemble a police vehicle,” disregarding a previous order, Justice Jodie-Lynn Waddilove replied. “That justifies the forfeiture of the vehicle.”

She determined the seizure was necessary since the 37-year-old father of three wasn’t deterred the first time he pretended to be a police officer by equipping his car with the typical tools used by officers on the road. 

Court heard that in early 2019, Waites, outfitted with what appeared to be an OPP badge and photo card, tried to pass himself off as an Orillia OPP officer.

His Malibu is equipped with emergency lights, a siren, a police radio, and a dash camera. 

He also has a black Ford Taurus with decals, marked '9-1-1 priority', and closely resembles a police vehicle with a red-blue light bar, a divided partition inside, a police radio and a side spotlight, Crown attorney Rebecca Watson told the court.

In February 2019, he used the Malibu to block a car parked in a handicap spot at a Midland elementary school. Its driver, an off-duty officer with the Anishinabek Police Service, believed the Malibu — which had a police radio mounted on the centre console, a radio antenna and a light bar at its rear — to be an unmarked OPP criminal investigations vehicle, but didn’t recognize its driver.

Waites, who was wearing a police sweater with the badge removed, flashed his wallet with identification out of the window of the Malibu and told the driver of the parked car that the fine for parking in a handicap spot is $10,000.

The off-duty officer showed his handicap parking permit and asked to see Waites’s card, who then wouldn’t identify himself.

The off-duty officer didn’t report the encounter, although Waites went to a local Midland police station. However, he soon left, refusing to wait. The incident was eventually investigated; Waites was arrested and the Malibu towed for a search.

Court heard he had previously been charged under the Highway Traffic Act in 2017 with improperly using red-blue lights.

In a separate incident last August, court heard Waites had called 911 in a disguised voice about an armed person in the backyard threatening to shoot a police detective. Police determined it was all a fabrication and Waites was arrested.

While in custody, he threatened to hit two officers with his vehicle and, after he complained of a malady, was taken to hospital. There, he became aggressive and told two officers he would take their guns and shoot them and then tackled one of the officers, grabbing for her firearm.