by Justin Kree
ODESSA - 25-year-old Manuel Chico was pulling out of the Whataburger off 42nd Street and JBS Parkway in Odessa on Saturday. He was using his Dodge truck to impersonate a police vehicle. He didn't realize an off-duty Odessa Police officer was following him.
Once Chico was arrested, he admitted that this isn't the first time he's impersonated a police officer.
Chico showed up to Whataburger with red and white flashing lights and sirens blaring. Forcing others in the drive-thru line to move out of the way.
"He had all this equipment professionally installed into his vehicle that is set up just like an unmarked OPD unit," said Odessa Police Corporal, Steve LeSueur.
Fortunately, there was an off-duty police officer in his own car watching Chico the whole time. At first, he assumed it was a volunteer firefighter or EMS but the officer quickly knew something wasn't right.
"Once he realized he was abusing his authority, the officer became suspicious and started to follow the individual," said LeSueur.
The off-duty officer followed Chico a short way to the Regency Square Apartments. The officer asked Chico if he was an officer to which Chico responded "no" and Chico said he uses the lights for other purposes.
"Chico admitted that he had been crossing through intersections using the lights," said LeSueur.
LeSueur says it's unknown how long Chico had the light and sirens installed.