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Vegas Whacker Gambled and Won!

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iMONITOR

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Mar 12, 11:02 PM EDT

Vegas Man Paints Car Like Police Cruiser

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) -- Jessie Vigil's black-and-white car sports a red-and-blue emergency bar across the top and the word "police" painted on the doors. Vigil, however, isn't a cop. Law enforcement agencies say what he's done with his car isn't illegal as long as he doesn't act like a police officer.
He started decorating his 2007 Ford Mustang last summer to look like the police cruiser in the "Transformers" movie because his 7-year-old son, Thomas, was fond of the film.

"My intent was to re-create the movie car," said Vigil, a 35-year-old disabled veteran from the war in Iraq. "When I came back from Iraq, I tried to spoil him. I wasn't the best dad before."

He said he called the district attorney's office beforehand and spoke to Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Ulibarri, who tried to discourage his decorating scheme but couldn't find anything in the law that would stop Vigil as long as he didn't impersonate an officer.

Ulibarri said a state law prevents people from mimicking state police cars, which are painted black and white. But he also said the state police sell their old cars to private citizens without changing the colors.

"Are we violating our own law by not repainting them?" he asked.
He called the state law vague, and noted that normal state police cars aren't Mustangs.

"I don't think this guy has any intent to mimic a state police officer," Ulibarri said. "I'm not hearing that he is causing a problem and arresting people."

A close look shows Vigil's car isn't a police cruiser. Instead of the familiar slogan "To protect and serve," it carries a motto: "To punish and enslave" on the side. Instead of telling people to dial 911 for emergencies, the Mustang advises them to "dial 411 for theater information."

He originally marked his car, "Transformers police" but later changed it to just "police." He also added what appears to be a bar of emergency lights, but said they're not actual lights.

Vigil acknowledged people have mixed feelings about his car.

State police Capt. Craig Martin said the agency is "concerned for the safety of people who think he is an officer and think they may get help from him.

"People around town know who he is, but not those people on the interstate."

Note: RR no longer allows posting of pictures in the Wasteland...I guess they don't want the land fill! The original story, along with the picture of the car can be seen here: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/ODD_FAUX_CRUISER?SITE=MOJOP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
 

bpckty1

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GreatLakes posted:

"State police Capt. Craig Martin said the agency is "concerned for the safety of people who think he is an officer and think they may get help from him.

"People around town know who he is, but not those people on the interstate."

Jessie Vigil may have another problem. He had better have a scanner that will receive the police traffic, or he just might drive into the wrong spot, at the wrong time, and become a target.
 

ibagli

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He should get some real lights. Not to use, of course, just to show to friends. If that doesn't work out, he can just put them in his room.
 

Austin4Wyo

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car2back said:
I love that in America we have the right to be stupid, as long as it doesn't violate any laws :D
Well of course. Isn't that the American way? To get rich being stupid and stuff the money in our ears?

Maybe that was just the guys from Jackass.
 

iMONITOR

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I was really surprised by this. I've been to Vegas a couple of times. This doesn't sound like something they would tolerate.
 

mikey60

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GreatLakes said:
I was really surprised by this. I've been to Vegas a couple of times. This doesn't sound like something they would tolerate.
Note that this is Las Vegas, New Mexico, not Las Vegas Nevada...

Not that it matters really, but it is a different area...

Mike
 

iMONITOR

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mikey60 said:
Note that this is Las Vegas, New Mexico, not Las Vegas Nevada...

Not that it matters really, but it is a different area...

Mike
DOH! Completely missed that. I didn't even know there was a Las Vegas, NM. :eek:
 

Tim-in-TX

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I read the story, and I gotta say, this guy is far from being a whacker. He is just a disabled vet trying to make his kid happy by making his car look like a Transformer car. He admitted to being a crappy father before he went to Iraq, and is now trying to make it up to the kid now that he is back.
A close look shows Vigil's car isn't a police cruiser. Instead of the familiar slogan "To protect and serve," it carries a motto: "To punish and enslave" on the side. Instead of telling people to dial 911 for emergencies, the Mustang advises them to "dial 411 for theater information.
I would think a whacker would try to make it more like a real cruiser.

Besides, if everyone were allowed to paint their cars like a black & white, no one would dare speed or run red lights for fear of the car being an actual patrol car!:D
 

ibagli

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Wouldn't driving around in a car that looks like a police car be considered "acting like a police officer"?
 

brutalpilot514

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If you go by that logic than driving something like a camaro that is typically unmarked when used as a police car (and having an antenna on it) could be construed as the same. I know it's a little different since he actually has lights on his but it's the same basic concept. I have a CB in my camaro (and therefore an antenna for it) and truckers have mistaken my camaro for a cop car before, despite the military tags on it (which in KY look NOTHING like the plates on any police agency's cars). when I put a scanner in my camaro then it will look even more like a cop car.
 

fredg

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Tim-in-TX said:
I read the story, and I gotta say, this guy is far from being a whacker. I would think a whacker would try to make it more like a real cruiser.
I agree... Not a whacker... cool car...
 
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I dont see the problem with it. I mean you got how many different General Lee's from Dukes of Hazzard... a couple smokey and the bandit cars... why not a newer car to mimic. I think its a great design... and he didnt use real lights or have a siren on it.
 

CLTX11

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That is a sweet looking car. Doesn't take a genius to figure out those lights are non-working.

I have respect for him serving this country and being a better father than previously as he stated.
 
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