James Stewart was arrested March 28th for impersonating a police officer. The Supercross star was stopped at the Orlando International Airport by an Orange County deputy and Orlando police officer. Reports state a second man, Quinault Jehrrod, was also arrested with Stewart.
The charges stem from an incident earlier on Monday involving the 25-year-old Stewart and his passenger, Jehrrod (age 44). Stewart pulled in behind a vehicle on State Road 417 and activated “red and blue police-type lights” located on the dash of his Toyota Tundra pickup. The vehicle Stewart was trailing pulled to the right shoulder. It contained two off-duty Florida Highway Patrol troopers and an Osceola County deputy.
Stewart’s truck then pulled up with the passenger shouting at the vehicle. The off-duty officer then showed his badge, identifying himself, with Stewart then speeding off northbound. The troopers followed and called 911. Stewart and Jehrrod were arrested later at the airport. Stewart was booked in the Orange County Jail and released in the early morning hours of March 29th. (UPDATE: Details of incident updated following March 29th statements by Florida Highway Patrol)
The Orlando ABC-affiliate station, WFTV, reports troopers have a confession with Stewart telling officials that the dash-mounted lights used to pull-over the off-duty officers were purchased at a flea market. Stewart’s passenger was arrested trying to hide the lights in luggage.
Conflicting earlier reports raised confusion. The Miami Herald cited the man arrested as Mark Stewart Jr and the booking report listed the offender at James Mack Steward Jr., mispelling the last name.
It is unclear how the charge will hinder Stewart’s immediate racing plans. Updates and official word from the Stewart camp is pending. (UPDATE: An AP report states Stewart has been charged with a first-degree misdemeanor)
Here’s a video from the Orlando Sentinel which shows the lifted, black, four-door Toyota Tundra driven by Stewart.