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Leland man charged with operating vehicle with a blue light

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 1:39 PM EDT
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - A Leland man has been charged with one count of felony operating a vehicle with a blue light, according to police.

The Leland Police Department arrested Eric Andrew Cinotti, 46, on July 23 in connection to an incident which took place two days earlier.

“During this incident Leland Police Officers were dispatched to an address on Leland Station Drive to assist Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with a medical call,” the LPD stated in a news release. “While Leland officers were assisting EMS, Mr. Cinotti arrived on scene and represented himself as a law enforcement officer with the Town of Navassa. At the time of the incident, Mr. Cinotti was wearing a black exterior ballistic vest with the word ‘police’ written in approximately 2-inch bold white lettering on the front. He displayed a Navassa Police Department metal badge that read “Detective” and was pinned to the left chest of the vest. Mr. Cinotti also openly carried an unknown make and model black semi-automatic handgun on his right hip, and he possessed a police radio. He was driving an unmarked Dodge Durango Town of Navassa Police vehicle that was equipped with blue lights and siren, and he drove that vehicle with the blue lights activated.

“Mr. Cinotti’s actions and mannerisms on scene raised suspicions of Leland PD sworn personnel, and an investigation into the matter was initiated.”

According to Leland police, Cinotti does not possess a law enforcement certification from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission.

LPD officials referred questions about the equipment Cinotti possessed the night of the incident to the Town of Navassa. A spokesperson for the Leland Police Department said its believed that the equipment was authentic.

WECT has reached out to Navassa town and police officials.

Leland police are asking anyone with information regarding this case to call 910-371-1100.

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