The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has arrested a man for impersonating an officer of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force (PAP).
According to the Santa Ana office of the CHP, authorities received multiple reports from Irvine residents that there was an Asian man driving a black Audi A4 around the city, pretending to be a member of China's police force. Officers that intercepted the vehicle noted that it bore the Chinese national seal as well as symbols resembling those of the PAP, China's armed paramilitary force responsible for counterterrorism, riot control, and other large-scale internal conflicts.
CHP officers arrested the driver under charges of forging/possessing a fraudulent public seal and impersonating a peace officer. A police official has told KTLA 5 that the man's charges will be treated with the same severity as they would if it were American officers he had impersonated.
The official added that there are reports of a second vehicle in the Irvine area similar to this one and urged anyone with info on the situation to come forward. They recalled an incident earlier this summer wherein another Asian driver with Chinese markings on his car was arrested following an attempt to pull over an off-duty police officer.
CHP officials have not yet released the name of the individual involved in Wednesday's arrest, nor have they specified whether he is an American citizen. The Drive contacted the CHP for further information on the incident, and we will update when we receive comment.