Massachusetts Lawyer Charged With Impersonating . . . A Transformer?

decepticoncar-300x225It appears that a Massachusetts man has been arrested for impersonating a transformer. Barricade (an evil Decepticon) to be exact. The driver had his Maserati “dipped” to resemble the character and was pulled over in Braintree, Massachusetts. His car has the words “Decepticons punish and enslave” painted along the side. It is not clear if the officer was a Decepticon or just a clueless deputy. He faces fines of $1000 or more, probation or, in the most extreme cases, up to five years in jail for impersonating an officer.

The driver (whose name has not been released) was not arrested but later charged and summoned to court.

The driver is in his 20s and a University of Massachusetts-Amherst graduate . . . and obviously a Transformers fan.

He was pulled over by Officer Blake Holt of the Braintree Police on August 9 and later charged with impersonating a police officer. It did not likely help that, when he was pulled over, he allegedly told the officer that he was doing the police a service “because other drivers noticed him and slowed down, thinking it was a police vehicle.” That might be seen as an admission against interest, counselor.

It is not clear how the identification with an evil Decepticon might prejudice a more Optimus Prime jury. He may want to use the closing argument of Optimus Prime “We live among its people now, hiding in plain sight, but watching over them in secret, waiting, protecting. I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are worlds apart, like us, there’s more to them than meets the eye.”

braintree-patrol-carHere is the Braintree police car which does bear some resemblance but usually the cruisers are Chryslers not Maserati. The latter cost some $100,000 a unit — not including the Transformers paint job.

The charge is clearly meritless, even with the driver’s ill-considered alleged statement to the officer. There are strong first amendment claims as well as challenges on the constitutionality of the law as applied. Citizens are allowed to drive cars built to resemble any number of items or movies from hot dogs to Ghostbusters.

The actual statutory provision states:

Whoever falsely impersonates a police or military officer or public official with intent to mislead another into believing that the impersonator is actually such officer or official is guilty of a misdemeanor.
History: 1963 c 753 art 1 s 609.475; 1971 c 23 s 49; 1986 c 444

Here the defendant clearly lacked intent to impersonate a police officer. He wants to be a transformer. In the end, it was the police who most resembled Barricade who always insisted : “I’m always the Bad Cop. And don’t bother asking for the Good Cop. I killed him.”

Putting aside the legal niceties, I would simply not mess with Barricade without a stronger case of probable cause:

Kudos: Michael Blott

31 thoughts on “Massachusetts Lawyer Charged With Impersonating . . . A Transformer?”

  1. @Darren Smith
    sorry, I missed your comment.

    The Clerk Magistrate did not find sufficient cause for a criminal complaint to be issued, so despite strenuous objection from the police prosecutor, a Lieutenant on the Braintree police force, the case was dismissed.

    The police department was surprisingly gung-ho about the prosecution and emphasized that our client was a potentially serious threat to public safetly But the magistrate didn’t buy it, and concluded that the charge simple didn’t fit the statute.
    He was pretty fuzzy on the whole Transformers/Decepticons angle, but it was clear to him that an $80,000 Maserati dressed in a fashion similar to a police vehicle was simply not a violation of the law.

    We updated the info in the original blog post.

    Also, there was some detailed reporting here.

    Thanks for covering this, it was an interesting case.

  2. Back in the 90s, I drove 1994 beige colored Chevrolet Caprice Classic (Actual color was called Desert Tan). This was the era of CB radios and since my job required being on the road a lot, much of it turnpike driving,I had one with the trunk mounted antenna. Many were the times that after passing a big rig, particularly at night, I’d hear the the trucker issue a warning,
    “Breaker, Breaker, Smoking Bear, in a plain brown wrapper at the [such and such #] yard marker.”
    Often times there were “4 wheelers” that showed a definite hesitancy to pass me, no doubt because they evidently thought they might be passing an unmarked cruiser.
    My “handle was “Union Label” When other CBers would ask why I used that “handle”, I told them it was in case i got lost, I wanted folks to “look for the Union Label”!

  3. Thank you Mr. Matson for providing the details.

    If you or your client is willing let us know what happened in a comment here one of us will make a full article on with the update. I write on weekends.

    Darren Smith

  4. shake your head off, dimwit. ur using unexplained abreviations of the same person. maybe u forgot what blog ur on. even rants need to be sequitur.

  5. im sure david miscavige and cob will use this to try to drain more money out of the whole 20 scifools left in lyingtology

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