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Cape Coral man arrested after brandishing gun, claiming to be officer

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 23:24:18-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Police arrested Thomas Michael Bartlett, 59, of Cape Coral, for pointing a gun at a victim during a road rage incident, then later falsely claiming to be a police officer.

On Dec. 10, around 8 a.m., the victim stated he was making a U-turn at the intersection of Santa Barbara Blvd. and Tropicana Pkwy. when an SUV tailgated him.

The victim said the man then pulled alongside him and swerved toward his vehicle before pointing a black pistol in his direction, according to police.

The victim pulled over to avoid the threat, then saw the SUV pull into the parking lot of Sam’s Club at 301 SW Pine Island Rd.

The victim entered the lot in an attempt to read the SUV’s plate. He got the number and saw the man openly carrying a pistol on his hip.

The victim was approached by a witness who saw the road rage incident and approached the gun-carrying suspect at Sam’s Club to tell him he could not open carry in Florida. The suspect told the witness he was a law enforcement officer and provided the witness with his name.

Investigators identified the man as Bartlett. The next day he was located at his home and arrested.

Bartlett is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, improper exhibition of a firearm, false personation of a law enforcement officer, and open carrying of a weapon.