MABTON - What Freddie Perales says began as a prank resulted in his arrest and subsequent charges of second degree criminal impersonation of a police officer and five counts of unlawful imprisonment following an incident in Mabton this past Saturday night.
"I didn't know it was going to come out like that," said the 19-year-old.
Perales is accused of using his high beams and flashers to pull over a vehicle heading toward Mabton carrying four juvenile females and a woman.
Perales insists it was just a joke. He said that he'd spotted the vehicle occupants, people that he knew from Mabton, and first pulled them over at The Outpost in Sunnyside. "I was waiting for them to say, 'Shut up Freddie! We know who you are!'," he said.
Perales said he has since lost a good paying job and is facing the possibility of hefty fines and possible imprisonment.
"I'm remorseful for how out of hand it got," Perales said.
His trial date is slated for Aug. 27, with a status hearing slated for Aug. 17.