Two men are facing felony charges after they allegedly pretended to be police officers early this month.
Several law enforcement jurisdictions were reportedly notified about a reckless driver who was following other vehicles around with a siren Jan. 3.
Loren Macfarlane, 19, of Kalispell, was later arrested on a felony charge of impersonating an officer. He was allegedly driving a red Jeep wrangler with a siren bolted to the custom grill guard. The vehicle reportedly caused confusion for drivers who thought it was a police vehicle, and they pulled off the road.
Macfarlane and another man, Derek Waatti, 19, allegedly went so far as to perform a fake traffic stop. Macfarlane was driving the Jeep, and Waatti approached the vehicle after it pulled to the side of the road, according to court documents.
Waatti reportedly identified himself as a law enforcement officer to a woman who was driving her daughter home from a sport practice. He allegedly approached the vehicle and told the woman he was pulling her over for a non-functioning tail light. Macfarlane reportedly took a video of the “traffic stop” as Waatti shined a bright flashlight into the woman’s eyes and asked her where she going to and coming from.
Detectives spoke with the registered owner of the Jeep who reportedly told them he had put the lights and sirens on the vehicle. According to court documents, the owner of the vehicle also admitted to lending the Jeep to Macfarlane that day.
Macfarlane and Waatti are scheduled to be arraigned in Flathead District Court in front of Judge Heidi Ulbricht on Feb. 8.
Reporter Breeana Laughlin can be reached at 758-4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.