A Marco Island man is accused of trying to pass himself off as a police officer, while trying to evict a woman from her home. Nicholas Troemner, 35, faces charges of impersonating a police officer, as well as aggravated assault.
According to Troemner's arrest report, he went to a home on Orleans Court at one in the morning June 16, wearing a phony badge over a bulletproof vest, and told the people inside they needed to leave. A witness captured cell phone video of the man police identified as Troemner pointing a flashlight, mounted on a hatchet, at a woman at the door to the home.
"What are you still doing here?" the man demanded in the video.
"I'm renting the house," the woman replied.
The arrest report stated that the woman's initial impression was that Troemner was an undercover officer, but was in fear for her life when he pointed the flashlight/hatchet at her, thinking it was a gun.
Walt Zalisko, a retired police chief living in Southwest Florida, said that people have the right to question whether or not someone who says they are an officer is legitimate.
"Simply wearing a badge on a chain around your neck, and not being in uniform, is not an indication that you're an officer," Zalisko said. "People should request a photo ID card to be presented to them."
"Don't open the door," he added. "Call the local police department and ask them, 'do you have an officer at this address?' They'll verify whether that officer is legitimate or not."
According to the arrest report, the victim eventually recognized Troemner, who is a convicted felon with multiple arrests, and knew that he wasn't an officer. He is also charged with aggravated assault for pointing the hatchet in a threatening manner.