INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FL – A painter, armed with a cheese grater and hammer, posing as an undercover Florida Fish and Wildlife officer called the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office for backup through their 9-1-1 system. His police radio probably just malfunctioned.
“This job grates on us as members of the sheriff’s office, but we, as real officers, sworn and civilian accept that fact,” the department joked about the arrest of Bruce Florence.
Florence faces charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer, and corruption by threat. The call came in Jan. 3, just after 6:30 p.m. to dispatch from the 400 block of 13th Lane SW, Vero Beach. There were sounds of a verbal dispute in the background as Florence called for backup. He claimed he was US Marshall, Homeland Security, Naval Officer and FWC. Dispatch found no one that worked for FWC with his name. As Florence was transported to the Indian River County Jail he told the deputy that “his cousin was going to kill Gast for arresting Florence without cause.”