Boulder County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Mike Dimond says William Nelson, 57, allegedly used his personal vehicle with lights on it to pull over another vehicle around 10:15 p.m. near North Foothills Highway and Hygiene Road. The details of the traffic altercation have not been released.
Dimond said deputies discovered a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his car, along with a pistol and a rifle. Nelson was found to be under the influence of alcohol.
Nelson was arrested on eight charges including impersonating a peace officer, a 2nd offense DUI/DWAI and marijuana possession, according to Dimond.
Dimond said impersonating a peace officer isn't a common charge, but it is one that makes it difficult for law enforcement officers to do their job.
"It's not common but it's obviously serious and we don't like to see it," Dimond said. "I think it makes the public wonder a little bit about anytime they are contacted by somebody with lights or sirens and comes up to their car, purporting themselves to be a law enforcement officer. It's disturbing for them because they don't know for the next contact - is it a real peace officer or is it somebody pretending to be?"
In the meantime, Nelson has been suspended from his position of fire chief by the board of directors for the Hygiene Fire Protection District. The assistant chief will take his position until further notice.
Nelson bonded out of jail. He is scheduled to be back in court for an advisement hearing on July 21 at 2 p.m. in Boulder County.
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