"What seems to be the problem, offic--Hey! Wait a minute!"

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A traffic stop lands two East Texans in jail, but they were not the ones being followed. 17-year-olds Gage Guinn and Vincent Megason are accused of impersonating a public servant.

The 18-year-old pizza delivery guy they allegedly tried to pull over said after seeing the blue lights flashing in his mirror something just did not seem right. They had the car, the badges clipped to their belts (volunteer firefighter badges), but what they did not have was a peace officer's license.

"I knew it was a couple of kids messing around, but they needed to get off the road before they messed with the wrong person," said Michael Coats. "I guess I was the wrong person."

Coates said he was on his way back home after a long day of delivering pizzas. He got to the light on Beckham and Lake Street and a white Crown Victoria pulled beside him.

"I drive forward, they get beside me, and they turn on their lights, and they sit behind me and they have these lights on," Coats described the situation.

He said he sped up, but the two followed him down Beckham to Troup Highway. He said he called police, stayed on the line and kept driving.

"I just looked back in my rear view mirror and I saw one cop get right on his butt, then I see three more cops just come in real quick," said Coats.

Tyler police officer Doyle Lynch said Coats did the right thing.

"People like this, that come in, hamper our job tremendously," said Lynch. "The position is a position of trust by the community, and people who infringe on that trust are a problem."

The suspects are both currently enrolled at Brownsboro High School. There were pocket knives in the front seat, but police don't know their motive.

"I'm 18-years-old," said Coats. "I know what kids do. Sometimes they do some really stupid stuff and you've got to give them a break, sometimes, on the small things, but on the big things, they need to be taught a lesson."

We have received a call from the father of one of the two teenagers accused in this case. He told us that it was all just a misunderstanding, that his son told him they were closely following the car because it was driving recklessly and that they never turned on their lights. He said he stands by his son because he knows he wouldn't do this.

Officer Lynch told us traffic stops inside the city limits of Tyler will be made by officers in marked patrol cars. He said if you're ever unsure, a simple call to police can determine whether the officer behind you is legitimate.