A mayoral candidate for the city of Miami was arrested Friday and slapped with felony charge of impersonating a police officer, NBC Miami reports.
Citing the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the station reported that the candidate, Francisco “Frank” Pichel, 59, allegedly flashed a badge and claimed to be an active deputy in Key Largo, Florida.
Pichel, a nonpartisan who is trying to unseat Mayor Francis Suarez (R), was booked in the county jail at around midnight and released at about 3 a.m. after posting a $5,000 bond, according to an arrest warrant obtained by The Washington Post.
“Incidents such as these always concern me,” Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a news release.
According to the sheriff’s office, the incident occurred on May 30 when Robert Love, an off-duty Miami-Dade County police officer visiting a friend, noticed a white BMW parked in front of the residence, and the driver was later identified as Pichel.
According to the arrest warrant, when Love and his friend approached the car and asked the driver what he was up to, Pichel “displayed a gold law enforcement badge, stated that he was a ‘Monroe County police officer,’ and that he was working on a case,” the sheriff’s office said.
“Pichel also stated, ‘Don’t worry, I’m Monroe County,’ and that he was waiting for another law enforcement officer to relieve him,” police said in a news release.
Love felt something was off and decided to take down the BMW’s tag number and pass it along to the sheriff’s office, the arrest warrant states.