By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
We previously reported HERE an almost Onion like story of a man charged with impersonating a police officer by driving a black and white colored Maserati painted in a Transformer cartoon livery. The car was painted with white doors on a black body and included on the door a logo and the words Decepticons, Punish and Enslave to suggest the car was the Decepticons character Barricade. The driver was later charged with impersonating a police officer.
The driver’s attorney, provided us with the results of that hearing.
On September fourth, a magistrate’s hearing was held in Quincy District Court by Magistrate Richard Bloom. Magistrate bloom was to decide if charges would proceed against the twenty three year old Maserati driver who faced the possibility of a conviction carrying a four hundred dollar fine and up to a year in jail.
The Police Prosecutor, Lieutenant Kevin Ware argued that because of the coloring resembling police cruisers and inclusion of the words “911 Emergency Response, K-9, Police and Speed Enforcement” that it “would be very hard for the public to make a differentiation” between the Maserati and a police cruiser.
The Bay State Examiner provided the detailed information on the hearing.
Lt. Ware informed the police that he “was doing a favor because people slowed down when they saw his Maserati. But this was disputed by the defense and Magistrate bloom declared there was no evidence of this.
Ware insisted that permitting the driver to parade around in the vehicle had the “potential to go seriously wrong”, making reference to an incident in Avon where a person was kidnapped by someone representing themselves as a law enforcement officer.
Ware conceded the driver had not directly represented himself as a police officer but made a rather astonishing claim that his fellow officers had “intercepted” the driver before he could do so.
Ware claimed the driver was doing a “disservice” to the people of Braintree by driving around with a “disguise” on. He said he was surprised someone with such a high level of education displayed a “lack of common sense.”
During the hearing, the driver said he had removed from the vehicle some of the stickers that police objected to and Ware said this showed “consciousness of guilt,” but Bloom bluntly told him that wasn’t a valid conclusion.
Defense attorney Russell Matson stated his client was needlessly brought before the court for an “art project.” He directed the court to the statute which the driver was accused of violating, which states that it only applies to someone who “falsely assumes or pretends” to be a police officer and “acts as such or requires a person to aid or assist him in a matter pertaining to the duty of such officer.”
The defense stated the driver was not accused of misrepresenting himself as a police officer to anyone or of attempting to exercise any police powers, so the law was not applicable.
Matson demonstrated the police department auctions off retired police cruisers to the public. He also said that if the law was interpreted the way the police wanted it to be, people could be arrested for wearing police costumes on Halloween.
Bloom seemed amused by the case despite not being familiar with the Transformers. He laughed when he looked at the pictures of the Maserati, saying “This is unbelievable.”
During the hearing Bloom asked the driver how much he paid for the car. The driver said he bought the second hand car for eighty thousand dollars.
Ultimately, he agreed with Matson that the law had not been violated. “The key word in the statute is ‘acts,’” Bloom said.
The case was dismissed. Truth, Justice and the American Way prevailed
By Darren Smith
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