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Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrest suspected police impersonator

Posted on 05/22/2020

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Friday on suspicion of impersonating a police officer.

Nathan Gilbert Lopez, 34, of Brighton, was arrested Friday morning following a police chase on suspicion of felony eluding, two counts of reckless driving, speeding and driving without proof of insurance. He also faces a possible felony charge for impersonating a police officer.

The police impersonation charge stems from Thursday when a Weld County couple reported an unusual incident with the driver of a black Dodge Charger. The couple was towing a horse trailer to their home in the Arrowhead subdivision when about 2 p.m. they were nearly struck by the Charger when it ran a red light at 65th Avenue and 37th Street.

The driver proceeded to follow the couple to their home. When they arrived, the couple confronted the man and asked him why he had followed them.

The man, later identified as Lopez, said he was an undercover Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputy detailed to the FBI. The couple later told deputies that during the conversation, Lopez several times pounded his fist onto the dash and would routinely stop to talk to someone inside the vehicle, but the couple couldn’t see anyone else inside the car.

The couple also told deputies Lopez asked to see their identification, which is considered an official police act. Lopez finally left when the couple threatened to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.

About 8:45 a.m. Friday, deputies on patrol on U.S. 85 near Fort Lupton encountered a black Dodge Charger matching the description from yesterday’s incident. The Charger’s plates matched information deputies gathered the previous day.

Deputies activated lights and siren to pull the Charger over near Weld County Road 14 1/2, but Lopez fled the scene at a high rate of speed. Deputies pursued Lopez south on U.S. 85, ending the pursuit at Weld 8 due to public safety concerns.

Lopez continued south on U.S. 85, turning west on 168th Avenue (Weld 2). At 8:58 a.m., Lopez crashed with another vehicle at Tucson Street near Brighton. Multiple agencies responded to the crash.

Lopez was taken into custody and transported to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office for questioning. Lopez admitted to investigators he told the couple he was an undercover deputy with the sheriff’s office.

Investigators don’t think Lopez is tied to a series of police impersonation reports in Eaton, Greeley and elsewhere in northern Colorado at the beginning of the COVID-19 stay at home orders.

Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward.