Man says he was doing his duty, but ends up arrested for traffic stop
SALEM, Ore. - A man told an Oregon State Police trooper that he was doing his duty when he pulled a woman over on Interstate 5 last Saturday.
Camerino Ortega-Espinosa, 44, told Trooper Andrew Goffrier that he felt a woman was speeding and wanted to make sure she wasn't driving drunk, according to the police report.
Shannon, who did not want her last name used, told police that an unmarked black F-150 pickup truck followed her even as she changed lanes while driving south on Interstate 5 in the middle of the day.
When she drove past Waconda Road overpass just north of Salem, Ortega-Espinosa activated lights on his truck, police said in the report.
"I was in the left lane. He turned on red and blue lights and was pulling me over," Shannon told KATU News during an interview Friday.
Shannon pulled over and said she suspected something was wrong when the man initially failed to identify himself or what agency he was with.
"I had to ask him multiple times for a badge or identification," she told another responding trooper, Frank Hagen.
While suspicious, Shannon didn't immediately fear for her life. But that changed, she said, when the man pulled up his shirt and showed her he had a gun. She said the man then identified himself as a Salem police officer.
Shannon called police.
Police located Ortega-Espinosa at the Pacific Pride on Lancaster Drive SE in Salem and found that he had a fully loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol. After questioning him, they arrested him for impersonating a police officer.
Ortega-Espinosa told a KATU News reporter during an interview in the Marion County Jail Friday night it's all a big misunderstanding and he's sorry for what happened.
He said his emergency lights are for his job as a mechanic and he's never pulled anyone over before. When asked why he just didn't call 9-1-1, he responded that he overreacted.
Ortega-Espinosa said he's due in court next week. His bond is $50,000.
The Marion County Jail commander said anyone who gets pulled over anywhere in Oregon and feels uneasy about it has the right to call 9-1-1 to verify the officer is legitimate.