Assault trial underway for man who claimed to be police officer
The trial for a Stateline man, who allegedly identified himself as a police officer before pulling a gun during a road rage incident and crashing into a woman’s car began on Tuesday in District Judge Thomas Gregory’s court.
In June 2016, Jared Kaiser, 33, was arrested after an incident involving road rage was reported by Kaiser himself as well as the victims.
Kaiser was found to be intoxicated by Douglas County deputies and was booked into Douglas County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, driving under the influence, and reckless driving.
The jury heard testimony from one of the victims in the incident, who was in the passenger seat during the crash.
The victim said he and his fiancé had pulled behind Kaiser’s Chevy Tahoe on Kingsbury grade and claimed the Tahoe had been driving recklessly, swerving and failing to maintain a consistent speed.
He said the Tahoe pulled off onto a pullout, but when they attempted to pass, the Tahoe swerved back towards them in what appeared to be an intentional attempt to run them off the road. The Tahoe passed them again, driving into oncoming traffic to do so.
At this point, the victim called 911 to report the vehicle for drunk driving.
After waiting behind the Tahoe at a stop light for several moments, the victim said they attempted to go around, but as soon as they accelerated, the Tahoe accelerated and crashed into them at the crosswalk of the intersection.
The victim could be heard telling Kaiser that he was on the phone with the police.
On the recording was allegedly the voice of Kaiser who told the victim, “I’m a cop.”
The victim claimed this is when Kaiser pointed a gun into his face along with a bright flashlight held in a tactical manner.
On the recording the victim was heard telling his fiancé to drive, and he asked the dispatcher to send police to help them.
The Tahoe followed them for some time, even though they were reaching speeds of over 80 mph in an attempt to escape.
“We were concerned for our lives,” the victim said. “My fiancé was screaming and crying and taking turns at life threatening speeds in an attempt to get to the police. We wanted the dispatcher to have the cops ready, to save our lives.”
The jury also heard testimony from Frank Hauptman, a police chief from Southern California, who had hired Kaiser as a police recruit while he attended a training academy to become a peace officer.
Kaiser had been terminated in Oct. of 2008 after failing to finish his training in the program.
“He was never sworn,” Hauptman said. “He was never authorized to arrest or detain anyone or to call himself an officer.”
According to the lead sergeant on the case, Sgt. Ron Michitarian, said Kaiser had claimed to be either an ex police officer or a police officer.
“At 19:00 hours, on the call to dispatch, Mr. Kaiser identified himself as an ex police officer, and that he had a gun,” Kaisar testified.
When Michitarian asked Kaiser where he worked, he reported he worked for Mayfield Police Department in California. Upon further inquiry, he said he had left, but couldn’t remember when or why he had left the agency.
Sgt. Michitarian also reported that Kaiser’s car was what appeared to be an undercover police car, complete with LED lights on the running board, a surveillance system and a camera. His license plate was customized as THNBLU, and a sticker of an American flag with a blue stripe both references being a police officer.
Kaiser told Michitarian he had purchased the vehicle a month ago from an “unknown sergeant from an unknown police department” in southern California.
Kaiser also claimed the other car, driven by the female victim, had been driving recklessly behind him, and there was no where to pull over on Kingsbury to allow them to pass. He stated the other car struck him, and then the male passenger exited the vehicle, screaming and approaching him.
“I feared for my life so I pointed my gun at him,” Kaiser told Michitarian. He also claimed he had kept his window rolled up during the interaction, and that he did not speak to the passenger or driver of the other car. He said he steered his vehicle away to free it and continued on, but after seeing the other car was following him, he allowed them to pass.
Sgt. Michitarian reported Kaiser had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol, though he was communicating clearly and professionally.
Kaiser was taken into custody outside the home of his girlfriend where he spent most of his time.
The trail will continue through the week.