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Man Arrested After Allegedly Posing as a Fireman Near The Lake Fire



lake fire impersonator

A man was arrested on Saturday in Big Bear after he arrived at the Lake Fire command center in a stolen vehicle.

44-year-old David Anthony Battle drove a white Crown Victoria up to a checkpoint and told deputies that he was a firefighter. Via The Big Bear Grizzly:

Deputies assigned to the Lake Fire for perimeter patrol and security of evacuated areas saw a white Crown Victoria vehicle about 5 p.m. June 27 driving into areas closed by road blocks. The driver, later identified as Battle, was wearing a fire department uniform and represented himself as a firefighter. He claimed to be trying to locate a fire crew, authorities said.

The same vehicle was parked at the Incident Command Post in the parking lot at Big Bear High School a short time later. When asked, Battle could not provide proper fire department identification, and deputies noticed the tires on the vehicle Battle was driving were bald. A records check determined that the California exempt license plates on the Crown Victoria were stolen.

Cops found several stolen uniforms from various angenies inside the car – along with a stolen radio and stolen handgun.

Battle, who was found to be on probation for grand theft auto, was booked on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle and carrying a stolen, loaded firearm. He is being held on $50,000 bail.

It is unclear whether Battle was trying to join firefighters to battle the blaze or attempting to burglarize the area, sheriff’s spokeswoman Tiffany Swantek said.