Men arrested after using police lights app

By By Na'Tassia Finely
Published On: Apr 25 2014 08:56:25 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2014 01:02:28 PM EDT
Police lights file
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) -

There's an app for just about everything these days and two men, using one of them for unintended purposes, found themselves arrested.

"That app is probably not illegal, but it's the just the way you use it," Brownsville police officer J.J. Trevino said.

Jose Luis Vela, 20, and Jose Azanon, 19, were charged with impersonating an officer for using a police lights app.

A patrol officer noticed a suspicious vehicle with flashing police lights inside heading in his direction on the 900 block of Ruben Torres earlier this week.

"It was a small vehicle, he didn't recognize it as one of our own vehicles, one of our unmarked," Trevino said.

The officer asked the pair if they were police officers, and they said no.

Instead, Vela said his friend had downloaded an app to display police lights on his smartphone.

Regardless of their intentions, the men were displaying a function that's common with law enforcement practice, which makes what they were doing illegal, police said.

"More than anything it's public safety, you know? You see a vehicle with red and blue lights, the first thing you think of is that it's an officer, but what if it's not? What if you're trying to get out of the way and you end up having an accident?" Trevino said.

The phone, with the app, may be used as evidence in the case against the men.

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