Jeremy Dewitte currently has 10 pending felony cases in the state of Florida. Nine of those cases are in Orange County and one case is in Osceola County.
There are various charges in the cases but most of the charges are for falsely personating a police officer.
Despite a shocked response from the public there have been similar cases of police impersonation in the state of Florida.
A man named Jean Beaubrun was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer.
Beaubrun volunteered to escort his uncle’s funeral in what he called his security car. Beaubrun had amber and green lights in the front and back of his vehicle and “K-9 Enforcement” and “911 Emergency & Detection Unit” emblazoned on the sides of his vehicle.
This is very similar to Jeremy Dewitte’s Metro-State Special Services vehicles.
Unlike Jeremy Dewitte, Jean Beaubrun held a Class D and G security license as well as a concealed weapons permit. Beaubrun wasn’t a felon and he didn’t have a criminal record.
According to police officers on the scene Beaubrun was driving behind the funeral procession with flashing lights. He was stopped on I-95 by an Officer Bryant. I-95 is the same Florida highway Jeremy Dewitte allegedly shut down.
When Beaubrun exited the vehicle he was wearing gray cargo pants, a black shirt, a green traffic vest, a nylon belt with a 9mm gun, two magazines, a taser with two cartridges, pepper spray and handcuffs.
Jean Beaubrun was only seen by the public once he was pulled over and asked to exit his vehicle.
Officer Rogers responded to the scene and searched Beaubrun’s trunk. He found a rifle with 119 rounds of ammunition, two bulletproof vests and a Velcro patch labeled “Police.”
Jean Beaubrun was charged with one count of falsely impersonating a police officer.
However Beaubrun’s defense attorney filed a motion to dismiss.
The defense attorney stated at no time did Beaubrun identify himself as a police officer or wear anything identifying himself as an officer, nor did he detain or attempt to detain a citizen.
Most importantly the public had not seen Jean Beaubrun in his uniform except when he was pulled over by law enforcement.
The State asserted the defendant’s vehicle had “K-9 Officer Enforcement” on the side of his vehicle, a laptop computer mounted on the front console, a K-9 cage and a PAL license plate.
Beaubrun was also driving at a high rate of speed on the shoulder of the highway with the vehicle’s lights activated.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge David Miller granted the motion to dismiss.
An appeals court disagreed with Judge Miller and the 3rd District Court of Appeal reinstated the charges against Beaubrun stating it should be up to a jury to decide his fate.
Thomas Manning Hook was arrested 14 times in Polk County, Florida for impersonating a police officer. Hook had a wallet with a gold Private Investigator badge and “Chief” engraved on it. He claimed he was a Fugitive Recovery Agent.
Hook carried 10 cards which identified him as a law enforcement detective, a member of the clergy and a retired major in the Marine Corps. Hook’s vehicle was equipped with emergency lights.
Thomas Manning Hook didn’t have a Class D and G security license because he was a registered sex offender.
Hook was given 1 year and 3 months in prison for impersonating a police officer. He had previously served 3 years and 5 months in Pinellas County, Florida for failing to re-register as a sex offender.
On November 26, 2019 an Osceola County deputy sheriff saw a man standing in front of black and white Dodge Charger with sirens. The car decals said “Metro-State Special Services.” A nearby motorcycle had the same decals.
The deputy sheriff claimed the man was directing traffic and wearing apparel with the word “Sheriff” on it. The man allegedly lied to the officer and stated he was a sworn law enforcement officer employed with Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The man was later identified as Yunus Gardee. Gardee was a volunteer with Orange County Sheriff’s Office but he was never a sworn law enforcement officer in Orange County.
A warrant was issued for Gardee’s arrest on December 12, 2019. He was bonded out on December 17, 2019.
On December 23, 2019 attorney Richard Nick Kelley filed a notice of appearance.
On March 16, 2020 Assistant State Attorney Matthew Kozyra decided not to file any charges against Yunus Gardee.
In Jean Beaubrun’s case a judge immediately granted a motion to dismiss because the public had not seen him in his uniform or acting as a law enforcement officer.
Thomas Manning Hook was arrested for the same crime, convicted and sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. Yunus Gardee was assisting Metro-State Special Services and stated he was a law enforcement officer, yet no information was filed against him.
It appears there are inconsistencies in the state of Florida regarding the laws of falsely impersonating a police officer. Each case had similarities and unsurprisingly each case had different outcomes.
However none of the other defendants were seen ordering motorists to pull over or stopping motorists for speeding. The defendants also did not have the damning body camera footage turned State’s evidence that Jeremy Dewitte stored on his office computer for years.