Florida Man: 6 Crazy Details Of A Serial Police Impersonator
Jeremy Dewitte is a serial police impersonator out of Orlando, Florida, and quite a prolific one at that. At the time of this writing, he is currently facing seven charges of falsely personating a police officer, along with a handful of other charges, with more being added as investigations continue. Dewitte's facing 85 years in prison, and if the court rules that he's a habitual felony offender, those sentences could be doubled. 170 years for being a wannabe cop. To put that into perspective, the leader of the NXIVM sex-trafficking cult only got 120.
Make no mistake, Jeremy Dewitte is a very strange man, and the further you look into his story, the weirder it gets. We've dug into this story as far as we could without risking a psychotic breakdown, and we're barely able to scratch the surface here ...
What Is It With This Guy?
Dewitte runs a company called Metro-State Special Services which, according to their own website, provides motorcycle escorts for funerals and VIPs and "offer a full fleet marked motorcade unites , such as Ford Crown Vic Patrol Cars and BMW / Kawasaki Patrol Motorcycles," that are "equipped with state-of-the-art communications and police style LED lighting and siren packages."
And the company's police cosplay game is definitely en pointe. They've even been known to park their vehicles next to real police cars and even arrive at accident scenes simply to get photos of their fleet "in action" next to real police cars. They even had official-looking badges made, which, oddly enough, are made to look like the same ones used by the LAPD ...
While their website implies it heavily, they stop short of saying they offer actual security because Dewitte (as well as many on his staff) have felony records; as such, they legally cannot be licensed to provide security. They mainly do funeral escorts. They're supposed to escort the funeral procession to the cemetery and direct traffic at intersections to allow the procession to remain together from point A to B, and that's it. They have zero authority to enforce traffic laws or pull people over, yet there are dozens of videos showing Dewitte doing just that, and the fact that he uses his own body cam definitely isn't helping his legal defense.
The YouTube channel Real World Police has perhaps the greatest treasure trove of Metro-State and Jeremy Dewitte's greatest hits, and these videos have a lot to unpack. Dewitte loves to appear like a cop, but when he pulls someone over, he handles the situation with all the grace and tact of a frat guy who just got beer spilled on him.
As if pretending to be a cop wasn't enough, Jeremy also seemingly loves to play soldier too. He has been recorded multiple times bragging about his time in the Army Special Forces and his harrowing tale of airdropping into Fallujah. Behind his desk at his office, he displays the Army and Special Forces flags. He's also been photographed many times in an Army dress uniform. The truth is he never served a day in the military in his entire life, which could prove problematic if anyone could prove he ever used his stolen valor for any kind of financial gain. Even if his fake uniform got him so much as a 10% discount on an oil change, that's a federal offense.
Florida Man Begins
Jeremy Dewitte got his first taste for pretending to be a cop when he was just 18 years old.
On May 18, 1998, a Mobil gas station attendant in Orlando saw Dewitt having a little trouble operating his gas pump. When the attendant saw the gold badge on Dewitte's belt, she assumed he was a cop and activated the pump for him. After Dewitte's prepaid Mobil card was declined, he claimed he had no other way of paying. When the attendant asked for his state-issued gasoline card that Florida cops typically used, he claimed to have left it at home. So, Jeremy gave his name, home address, date of birth, driver's license number, and phone number and promised to return later that day to pay for the $14.50 worth of gas.
Of course, he never came back, so the gas station pressed charges. Fortunately, the information Dewitte gave was all correct, so the cops knew just where to find him. As it turned out, he was also a suspect in another gasoline theft case at a different Mobil station, and when the cops showed up at his house and his stepfather yelled out, "Jeremy, you're a f*****g liar, you told me that Mobil was the last one!", they knew they had their man.
Police seized Jeremy's 1990 Dodge Shadow and found that not only had been tricked out with police lights front and back and three large metal antennas on the trunk, but inside was a box containing an unloaded revolver, six rounds of ammo, and two-speed loaders. The Police Athletic League license plate also helped sell the illusion that this could be a cop car if you squint hard. The badge DeWitte had on his belt that morning at the gas station? Well, that was an Oviedo Florida Police Explorer badge, which doesn't make you a cop any more than an Eagle Scout badge makes you an actual eagle.
Jeremy really wanted to be a cop, but being 18 at the time and not being allowed to enroll in the academy until he was 19, he decided to fake it until he made it. The irony is, impersonating a police officer is a third-degree felony, which meant he would never get into the academy. Instead, he got sent to prison for a year.
His Beef With The Sheriff's Office
Jeremy Dewitte had said on multiple occasions that he runs a legitimate business and that all of the charges against him at the moment are part of a vendetta against him by the Orange County Sheriff's Office. This may very well be true, but in the same way that Disney has it out for people who make porn parodies of Frozen: They have a hard enough time trying to maintain a wholesome public image without having to put up with obscene knock-offs.
In media statements, Dewitte has stated that he had been running Metro-State for 10 years without any issues with the authorities, which is sorta true. It is a fact that Jeremy Dewitte had not faced any new police impersonation charges until 2018. There were investigations into the company's business practices, but not their conduct on the job, and the investigations were inexplicably dropped without any arrests. Metro-State's antics were pretty much able to fly under the radar ... until there was a new sheriff in town.
It wasn't until former Orlando Police Chief John Mina took over as Sheriff that Dewitte started getting arrested for police impersonation. What's really doing him in are the body cams worn by himself and the other "officers" at Metro-State. The footage has not only provided first-person evidence of apparent police impersonation but has also given investigators more than enough probable cause on other crimes such as wiretapping. Police even interrogated him while showing him his own footage, and despite his face appearing to show up in reflections, what sounds like his voice being heard loud and clear, and witness statements saying it was him, he sticks to the Shaggy "it wasn't me" defense.
When facing increased scrutiny from the authorities, most business owners might consider taking it easy for a while until the heat is off. Not Jeremy Dewitte, though. He decided to expand his business to include a tow truck and a fleet of ambulances for patient transport. As a convicted felon, Jeremy is not legally allowed to hold either of those jobs, but that didn't stop him from pretending to be a paramedic on national TV.
The paper trail for Metro-State's multiple businesses are even harder to decipher. Many of the companies' registrations are filed under a strange misspelling of Jeremy's name, or when it's something that his criminal history would prohibit him from running, under the name of someone in his orbit with a clean record. All of the companies' vehicles were supposedly insured under his wife's name as personal vehicles. The ambulance service was registered under his girlfriend's name, and she dissolved the business claiming she did not authorize it, which might lead to an identity theft investigation. Jeremy's also under investigation by the Department of Labor for hiring all of his "officers" as contract labor instead of as employees, all in an effort to minimize the companies' potential liability.
Oh, And He's Also A Registered Sex Offender.
Buckle up because this part's gonna get bleak. We don't know if it'll help, but we'll include cute dog videos along the way to help Purell your soul.
When Jeremy Dewitte was 24 and had been out of prison for seven months, he went to an Orlando nightclub and met a young lady he believed to be 18 years old. According to court records, the two were intimate that night and were together again a month later. The girl was actually 15 at the time.
Jeremy was convicted on two charges of lewd or lascivious battery on a minor and sentenced to one year in prison, plus five years of sex offender probation. Three years after getting out of prison this time, and with two more years left on his probation, Jeremy found himself headed back to the slammer for another four years for attempting to start a youth airsoft military simulation team without disclosing his sex offender status.
But here's where the story gets weirder. Now that Jeremy has become internet famous, his victim has come forward to share her side of the story. She never testified against him because he had entered into a plea deal before the case went to trial. According to her, not only did the two not meet at that Orlando nightclub, but he had been living in the same apartment as her for months.
The victim had been staying with her cousin and his wife (who'd allegedly had also been sleeping with Jeremy) at the time, and after the victim had gotten in trouble for shoplifting, part of her punishment was for Jeremy to subject her to military-style physical training every day-you know what? If you want the details, just check out this video. You're gonna need to watch this with frequent breaks to do something, anything to remind yourself there's still good in this world.
And it gets way weirder! Jeremy Dewitte accidentally confirms some details of the story in this video recorded while having a fight with his girlfriend (a different girlfriend, and he's still married) ... about why she can't move in with him and his wife ... and the video was recorded by Dewitte himself using his own body cam ... and he didn't delete the footage! How the hell is this not a Netflix documentary miniseries by now?
He Went On Dr. Phil (Because Of Course, He Did)
In February of 2021, Jeremy Dewitte appeared on Dr. Phil in an attempt to clear up any misconceptions the public may have about him. His first mistake was, well, going on Dr. Phil and thinking that would help him gain credibility. That's just not how that show works. It also didn't help that Jeremy had his lawyer by his side the whole time making sure he didn't say anything that would incriminate himself.
Jeremy had also volunteered to take a polygraph test. This was his idea, not Dr. Phil's. It is important to note that polygraph results are not admissible in court in most states because they generally don't prove you're an honest person any more than they show how calm you are when you lie. Nevertheless, after the expert who administered the test described the methodology behind it, he explained that Jeremy would have to have a score higher than a -3 to be considered truthful. His final score was -37. Jeremy was taken aback by those results, but that may be because he realized how bad it made him look.
Jeremy's appearance on Dr. Phil did not help his case in the court of public opinion. He was deflective, defensive, and overall it was a gold-medal performance of mental gymnastics. But even worse, simply going on the show is landing him in legal hot water. As a registered sex offender, he was required to inform the sheriff's office if he were traveling out-of-state for more than three consecutive days. He was gone for four, which resulted in his arrest and yet another felony charge.
So, What Happens Now?
At the time of this writing, Jeremy is awaiting trial on over a dozen charges, and due to COVID-19, his trial dates keep getting pushed back. Another reason for the delay is due to the police sifting through the mountains of evidence they've already seized, and as a result, they keep finding more crimes to charge him with.
An even bigger problem for Jeremy seems to be his constant failure to keep his mouth shut even when he knows he's being recorded. He has the right to remain silent; it's just unclear whether he has the ability to do so. His story always changes depending on who he's talking to and who he could throw under the bus. He always has an excuse for his behavior, and the only common thread is that none of this is his fault. He even started his own YouTube channel to be able to tell his side of the story, and these videos are about as bonkers as you'd expect.
One thing that you can count on from Jeremy Dewitte: he loves to control the narrative. Unfortunately, he's a really shitty storyteller.
Top Image: Jeremy Dewitte