Deputies: Man pretending to be deputy pulled women over, tried to force them from car



GENEVA, Fla. - Three Seminole County women said they were driving in Geneva when they were pulled over by someone posing as a Seminole County deputy.

Deputies said 27-year-old Joseph Bradford turned on fake red and blue police lights on his pickup truck and pulled the women over on Snow Hill Road near State Road-426.

Bradford is facing one felony for impersonating a law enforcement officer because of the lights he used, authorities said. He's also facing three felonies for false imprisonment because, deputies said, he pulled the women over and tried to force them out of the truck.

Ember Bothwell and her friends thought they were the ones in trouble Sunday night when Bradford pulled them over.  The three were on their way back from a friend's house with a child in the back seat when Bradford pulled them over in his 1995 Ford Ranger, deputies said.

All three women agreed something wasn’t right, so they rolled up the window, wrote down Bradford's tags and called 911.

"Honestly, he looked like the guy you would see on the news that is just creepy," said driver Morgan Wordlow.

When the women refused to get out of the car, Bradford drove off, authorities said.

"If you are not in a uniform, I am not going to trust you," said Bothwell. "Even if you are in uniform, I am going to check to make sure you are a cop."

Real deputies pulled him over down the road and arrested him.

Bradford bonded out of jail Monday morning, but he refused to talk to Channel 9.

"I honestly think he should have gone to prison and stay there," said Bothwell.

The suspect's brother said Bradford would never force people out of their truck and said Bradford was most likely upset because the women cut him off and were speeding.

The women said that's not true.

"That makes you not want to trust people," said Bothwell. "It makes you really not want to trust that there are actually cops."

Channel 9 has learned Bradford has had a number of traffic citations including a leaving the scene charge.