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Firefighter Arrested for Impersonating Police Officer

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Published on 31 May 2023 / In News and Politics

Anthony Woods has the unenviable distinction of being the only firefighter on the Brady List maintained by the State Attorney's Office for the Ninth Judicial District of Florida. At the time of this incident, Woods was a firefighter with Orange County Fire Rescue.

According to a summary written by prosecutors, on December 12, 2021, the victim was exiting the 408 onto East Colonial Drive when, according to his statement, a Grey Hyundai cut him off. The victim continued to drive toward his original destination, but realized he was being followed by the vehicle that cut him off. The victim, fearing that he was being followed, took a different route to determine whether he was being followed. The Hyundai continued to follow the victim until the Hyundai maneuvered a in such a way to block the victim's vehicle in the roadway. At that point, then-firefighter Anthony Woods exited his vehicle and walked toward the victim's vehicle... with a black gun in his right hand.

Woods then stated "you almost hit me and I'm a police officer / firefighter." The victim then drove away and called 911. At the exit/entrance of the neighborhood, Woods caught up to the victim and again parked his vehicle in front of the victim's vehicle. Woods exited his vehicle again, overheard tje victim on the phone with 911, told the victim "don't take my tag," and returned to his vehicle to leave the scene. Woods is a firefighter. Woods also called 911 to report a reckless driver. Police interviewed Woods at Fire Station 87 where Woods initially stated that he and the victim got into a verbal argument due to the victim's reckless driving. Woods stated that it was actually the victim who was following him. It was apparent to police that Woods was lying, and Woods ultimately changed his story and admitted to following the victim and to brandishing a gun when approaching the victim's vehicle.

Woods was arrested on suspicion of falsely personating a law enforcement officer during the commission of a felony, as well as aggravated assault with a firearm. Prosecutors charged Woods with falsely personating an officer and improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon. As part of a plea deal, the former charge was dropped, and adjudication was withheld on the latter charge. Woods was sentenced to six months supervised probation, credit for time served, a required firearms safety course, and minor fines/fees. Woods resigned his position with Orange County Fire Rescue on December 21, 2021.

Prosecutor notes state that the victim feared that he would be shot, and that the victim had previously been in trouble with the law and had received significant penalties for that incident, and was consequently less inclined toward leniency for Mr. Woods. The victim ultimately told prosecutors that he believed in forgiveness, and that if Woods had apologized he wouldn't have pressed charges — but that if he had had a gun it could have been an entirely different outcome. Court records indicate that in 2015, the victim in this case had been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault with a firearm. That charge was ultimately dropped. In 2020, the victim had been arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery. He pleaded no contest and agreed to pay restitution.


00:00 Highlights
04:30 Victim
05:33 Police interview Woods
12:30 Miranda warning
19:43 Questioning
24:27 Turning up the heat
20:20 Confession
36:04 Arrest
39:59 "Babe, I'm going to jail"
42:21 "Lieutenant, I'm going to jail"
56:27 Cops not getting fired

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