18-year-old arrested for impersonating law enforcement in Collier County

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Credit: CBS

Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrested 18-year-old Jonathan Ryan Nelson on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer Saturday.

CCSO received a call about an aggressive driver. Deputies responded to the area and stopped a man on Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard. The man was identified as Nelson driving a vehicle with lights resembling those used by law enforcement.

Neighbors are upset to hear about this arrest in their community.

“It’s not something I would like have going on in my town,” Barbara Pitts said. “I’d have to ask for their ID.”

Pitts also said she would put her windows up and drive away if she thought she has been pulled over by someone posing as law enforcement.

Rocko Perlino is a retired law enforcement officer of 35 years. He agrees with Pitts.

“Generally, somebody can tell if a person is a police officer or not,” Perlino said.

Perlino also warned to look at details to ask yourself when faced with a potential impostor.

Are they wearing a uniform

Do they have a gun/utility belt

Do they drive a cruiser

Perlno said an undercover agent will rarely if ever pull someone over.

“If they’re in civilian clothes like me, something is wrong,” Perlino said.

Additionally, Perlino said anyone who encounters someone impersonating authorities to get to a safe place first and then call 911 and give them the best description of the person and vehicle. Perlino said things like this didn’t happen often during his time in law enforcement.

“Things have gotten out of control,” Perlino said. “There’s no more respect for these kids, today. These people, they do what they doin. The world is going nuts.”

Nelson was arrested and taken to Naples Jail Center.


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