- Utah police arrested an 18-year-old man on Monday and charged him with impersonating a police officer.
- According to the arrest affidavit obtained by Insider, the man did so for his YouTube channel.
- A complainant who reported the suspect to police said the man had pulled vehicles over by speeding with red and blue lights affixed to his car, the affidavit said.
- Prank videos make up some of YouTube’s most popular content, in some cases leading to criminal charges for YouTube stars.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A man who was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer was allegedly doing it for a YouTube video, Utah police said.
The 18-year-old suspect was arrested on Monday and charged with one count of reckless driving and one count of impersonating a police officer. The arrest was first reported by Deseret News.
A complainant reported a man to the South Jordan Police Department for reckless driving on Monday, telling authorities that the suspect was “using red and blue lights impersonating a police officer” and making other vehicles pull off to the side of the road by pretending to be a cop, according to the police affidavit provided to Insider by South Jordan police.
The complainant told police that the man had affixed red and blue lights on his Dodge and pulled over several vehicles, pretending to be a police officer, the affidavit said. The complainant also said that he saw the YouTuber pull over a school bus.
Arrest records show that police obtained two airsoft guns and reflective gear from the man at his home, where he told them he “was filming a video inside his Dodge Dart acting as a police officer for YouTube,” the affidavit said. The man told police that he had set up a camera on the side of the road and was also filming himself with his cell phone, according to the affidavit.
Insider could not immediately identify the YouTube channel belonging to the suspect.
The incident was similar to last year’s arrest of a different teen in Albuquerque who also reportedly impersonated a cop and attempted to pull cars over to the side of the road. In both incidents, police said the teens had weapons and a police scanner. The Albuquerque teen was sentenced to one-year probation after police saw him attempting to pull over a vehicle, according to local news outlet KOAT. A video of the September incident went viral on YouTube, reaching more than four million views.
Stunts filmed for a YouTube audience have previously landed others in trouble with the law, as prank videos remain one of the platform’s most popular categories.
In August, two YouTube stars, Alan and Alex Stokes, were charged with felonies for staging phony bank robberies as pranks for YouTube videos, according to the California District Attorney’s office in Orange County. Also in August, Jake Paul, one of YouTube’s most controversial figures, had his home searched by the FBI in connection with videos he posted that purportedly showed him looting a mall in Arizona in May.