CENTER TOWNSHIP | An intoxicated Valparaiso man faces felony charges of impersonating a police officer after trying to pull over other drivers using an application on his cell phone that mimics police lights, police said.
Porter County sheriff's police received a call about 10:45 p.m. Saturday from a driver reporting a suspicious vehicle trying to pull her over on U.S. 30 near County Road 500 West.
The driver told police a dark-colored Pontiac GTO traveling behind her was flashing red and blue lights in an attempt to pull her over. She said the lights were coming from the upper windshield area and she didn't believe it was a real law enforcement vehicle.
As she was on the phone with dispatchers, she said the car passed her, driving recklessly onto County Road 250 West.
Officers located the car and stopped it on County Road 250 West at Ind. 130. The driver, Fabio Bindel, 30, of Valparaiso, denied any involvement and said he had no red or blue lights in his car.
Officers searched the car and found a Motorola Droid cell phone in his girlfriend's purse. On the phone, officers found an application called "Police Car," which turns the screen into a flashing red and blue light, mirroring the small LED light bars installed on some police cruisers.
While interviewing Bindel, officers smelled alcohol on his breath and his blood-alcohol concentration was found to be above the 0.08 legal limit, police said.
Bindel, who previously was convicted of drunken driving in 2006, faces a series of DUI charges, as well as a felony charge of impersonating a public servant.