A Fort Lauderdale man flashed blue and red lights from his vehicle Tuesday afternoon so he could quickly get through traffic on Interstate 595, authorities said.
According to an arrest report, a Broward Sheriff's Office lieutenant was driving his BSO-issued, unmarked vehicle west on I-595 shortly after 4 p.m. when he saw a red 2004 Ford Explorer in front of him, bearing a specialized Florida firefighter tag.
The back of the SUV also had three firefighter stickers and another that said, "In case of emergency give me h***!" the report stated.
The lieutenant said he saw the SUV display flashing blue and red lights through the rear window and a line of blue lights on the bumper as the SUV passed slower traffic.
Authorities said the driver, identified as Christopher Phillips, 63, turned the lights on three times to get by the slow-moving traffic.
The lieutenant eventually pulled over Phillips on the northbound I-95 exit and asked Phillips why he was driving with red and blue lights, the arrest report stated.
Authorities said Phillips claimed that he was having a stroke and his brother, who is a Miami-Dade firefighter, told him to use his lights when he felt he was having a medical condition.
The lieutenant said Phillips was wearing a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue baseball cap and a firefighter T-shirt. He said he also noticed a firefighter T-shirt lying on the front passenger seat.
The lieutenant said he stepped away and contacted Fire Rescue to assist Phillips with his medical condition.
When he returned, Phillips had removed the cap and the firefighter shirt was missing from the front seat, the arrest report stated.
The lieutenant wrote in the report that Phillips reiterated his story to a fire captain at the scene that he activated the lights on his vehicle because he thought he was having a stroke.
Authorities said a records check revealed that the Explorer was registered to Phillips and not to a firefighter.
Phillips later confessed to using the lights because he was anxious to get home and wanted to avoid traffic, the arrest report stated.
Phillips was arrested on charges of unlawful use of blue lights on a vehicle and fraud for impersonation of a law enforcement vehicle.