The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office has received information on two incidents involving traffic stops occurring on I-95, that do not appear to be actual law enforcement officers. While there are similarities in the occurrences, there are also differences in the suspect descriptions.
In the first incident, a female nurse with a Jacksonville area hospital was traveling north on her way to work from St. Johns County when red and blue lights came on behind her. Once stopped she stated a male, who was described as a white male with very short or shaved hair and in his 50’s approached her car asking for her driver’s license and stated she was speeding She also noted he was wearing a tan uniform with a name tag of Moyer or Moer. While looking at her license and explaining the speed limit, the citizen noted the subject did not witness a gun or gun belt on the uniform. The driver also said the subject advised her the cost of the ticket, which would not have been an accurate cost for the violation and told her he was from St Johns County. Citizens should know that the SJSO does not wear tan uniforms, nor do we have a law enforcement officer by that name. The subject ended the conversation by saying she could “consider this a warning” and handed her license back to her after studying it. The citizen, feeling the situation was not consistent with normal police protocol contacted our agency. After a review, it was discovered the traffic stop occurred in Duval County, a short distance from the county line.
In the second event, also a female nurse with a Jacksonville area hospital, was traveling south on her way home from work, when red and blue lights apparently mounted at the top of the windshield came on behind her. The citizen in this incident was able to describe the vehicle as a dark colored Chevy 4-door sedan, which pulled up beside her before falling back and activating the red and blue lights. Once stopped, she described a thin framed, shorter black male approached her car wearing rimmed glasses, a blue stripped polo shirt and a black hat. She further described the subject had a plastic tag around his neck which read “JSO Detective” and that he identified himself as a Jacksonville Detective. He too stated he stopped the citizen for speeding and asked for her driver’s license. The driver stated he did not show a badge or any identification and did not appear to be armed with a firearm. After returning her driver’s license, the suspect vehicle exited onto CR 210 and was not seen again.
As a best practice, if you are in an isolated area or have concerns of a stop, turn your hazard lights on and safely begin to drive to a well-lit and populated area. You may also call your local law enforce agency to advise where you are and if an actual unit is attempting to stop you. If you do not have the number already stored in your cell phone (you should) 911 may be appropriate. Additionally, law enforcement officers will possess an official badge and wallet credentials when performing their duties and will generally already have them displayed or readily available.
The St. Johns County and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Offices are continuing an investigation into these two events. Anyone who may have any information of the subjects mentioned or someone who may have talked about conducting traffic stops on citizens with unlawfully installed police equipment is asked to contact us at (904) 824-8304.