ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — He had the shiny badge, the flashing red and blue lights, and he even had a story.
Turns out, he didn’t have the authority — and didn’t count on a real officer showing up after he pulled someone over for speeding in Albuquerque.
Now 18-year-old Brenden Wysynski is charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer.
Wysyski was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Sept. 9, and released later that day.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, an Albuquerque Police Department officer spotted Wysynski on the side of Fourth NW, near Interstate 40, conducting a traffic stop on a sport utility vehicle just after midnight. The vehicle Wysynski was driving had red and blue lights but no other markings.
Police say Wysynski — dressed in civilian clothing with a star-shaped badge on his belt — even waved at the officer as he drove past but the officer turned around after becoming suspicious.
Still holding the SUV driver’s paperwork, Wysynski told the officer he was a deputy with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and had been for three years.
The complaint says Wysynski told the officer he pulled the driver over for going 120 mph on I-40, and the driver was sent on his way without a ticket.
However, the real police officer wasn’t done with Wysynski.
Police say the officer told Wysynski they were concerned he was puling someone over without proper attire or equipment and called a BCSO supervisor to the scene. Wysynski initially lied about his age before admitting he was not a deputy and that he bought the badge online.
“Brenden was subsequently arrested, placed in handcuffs and seat-belted,” an officer wrote.
When the BCSO supervisor got to the scene, he told the police officer the badge appeared real but not the type currently used and that’s when Wysynski changed his story, saying the badge had belonged to his deceased father.
Wysynski told the officer he was on his way to work when he paced the SUV as speeding before pulling it over and claimed to be a BCSO deputy when the officer arrived because “he got scared.” When asked about the police lights and other equipment on his vehicle, Wysynski told the officer he installed it himself.
According to the complaint, Wysynski in the end admitted the badge was bought online and hadn’t belonged to his father.
Attempts to reach Wysynski were unsuccessful.