Off-Duty Detective Stops Man Who Tried to Skip Traffic With Police Lights on His Mercedes

An off-duty El Monte police detective pulled over a man who passed him on a freeway by flashing illegal police strobe lights at him on Christmas Eve, authorities said.

Franklin Lopez Alas, 23, of Los Angeles drove up behind the detective on the 15 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga Tuesday and turned on red and blue strobe lights attached to his Mercedes Benz, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

The detective, who was in an unmarked police vehicle, moved out of the way.

Alas drove off at a high rate of speed, so the detective followed, pacing him at speeds of over 100 mph, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The El Monte detective then stopped the suspect’s vehicle and called for assistance.

Deputies from the Rancho Cucamonga Sheriff’s Station responded at about 9:10 p.m. and found that Alas had a suspended driver’s license, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Alas was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer and reckless driving, according to county inmate records. His Mercedes Benz was impounded, police said.

“When you equip your Mercedes with emergency lights and then flash them to pass cars while going 100mph only to pull in behind an unmarked police car you can bet @RanchoPD will arrest you,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Lt. Casey Jiles said on Twitter.