San Jacinto man arrested for impersonating officer, conducting traffic stop
FRENCH VALLEY, Calif. — Authorities say a San Jacinto man who had affixed red and blue flashing lights and a siren on his pickup truck and made at least one traffic stop while impersonating an officer in French Valley was arrested at his residence yesterday morning, Wednesday June 9th.
In addition to the alleged suspect’s red and blue lights in the grille, red and blue lights in the rear window, and a siren, officials discovered the man was in possession of two handguns, an additional light-bar, a total of four badges – marked security, and a gun belt similar to those worn by law enforcement officers.
Officials believe this was not the first time the man has impersonated a police officer and conducted traffic stops in the San Jacinto and Temecula valleys and have asked that any other potential victims come forward.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
According to California Highway Patrol – Temecula area officers, at around 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon, June 7th, the suspect, since identified as 45-year-old, Ryan Lee Meeker, of San Jacinto, used his illegally modified Ford F-150 to conduct a traffic stop on a woman in the unincorporated area of French Valley. Officials also allege that Meeker had a young child with him when he conducted the traffic stop.
“The victim realized the male suspect was not a police officer and left the scene,” CHP explained; adding that she later turned the video recording over to CHP to aid in their investigation.
Using the dash-cam footage, CHP was able to identify the suspect, as well as his vehicle and his residence.
Officials say 45-year-old, Ryan Lee Meeker, of San Jacinto, used his illegally modified Ford F-150 to conduct a traffic stop on a woman in the unincorporated area of French Valley. Officials also allege that Meeker had a young child with him when he conducted the traffic stop. CHP – Temecula photo
On Wednesday, June 9th, at around 9:30 a.m., CHP contacted Meeker at his Lori Ann Street residence, where they served a search warrant related to the reported traffic stop.
During the service of the search warrant, officers located Meeker’s illegally modified Ford F-150, which they confirmed was equipped with multiple red and blue lights in the front grille and back window and a siren. Officers also located and seized two handguns, an additional light-bar, a total of four badges – marked security, and a gun belt.
After their investigation, officers arrested Meeker for impersonating a police officer and he was later booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of impersonating a police officer and child endangerment.
“Based on inherent dangers of police work and traffic stops and the fact that the suspect had a juvenile in the vehicle while he made the traffic stop, the additional charges of child endangerment were included, said CHP.
Online jail records indicate he was released within hours of his arrest after posting $35,000 bail and he is scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta on Oct. 18th.
If anyone believes they may have been stopped by someone driving a white Ford F-150 with red, white, and blue lights in the grille, they are asked to call Officer Fenton at the Temecula Area, CHP Office at (951) 506-2000. Callers can refer to incident file number KS92577 and can remain anonymous.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.