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Police Officer's Son Arrested for Dressing as Cop, Firing Gun, Taking Cruiser for Joyride

Father was out of town when incident occurred.

Officer's son arrested after taking cruiser.
Officer's son arrested after taking cruiser.

The son of a Fairfax County police officer is facing charges of dressing as a police officer and taking his father's cruiser for a high-speed joyride with emergency lights on after firing a gun.

James Michael Puebla Berling, 27, of Centreville, was spotted in the cruiser on March 16 at about 1 o'clock in the morning, according to The Washington Post, which cited Virginia State Police.

The cruiser was speeding down Route 29 in  Centreville with its lights flashing when it was spotted by a Virginia State trooper, the Post reported.

The cruiser stopped and Berling an a passenger fled on foot, according to the paper. The trooper was able to detain the passenger, identified as 18-year-old Caitlin Lee of Centrevilled. Berling was caught shortly after and was found wearing his father’s uniform shirt, authorities said.

Fairfax County police had received reports of shots fired in the area earlier in the evening, police said. When they investigated, police said, they determined that Berling had fired a weapon inside his home.

Fairfax County Police Officer James Berling was out of town when the cruiser was taken and is not facing any disciplinary action. The weapon fired inside the home was not a service weapon, according to the paper.

The younger Berling is facing charges of unauthorized use of vehicle, reckless handling of a firearm and impersonating a law enforcement officer. Lee is facing charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

Mike Berkemeier April 04, 2014 at 09:08 PM
Waaah, waaah, waaah...stfu. I feel SOOOO bad for you. Jesus, get over it, I am so sick of hearing people like you.
Spartan300 April 17, 2014 at 08:50 AM
Wow, there are just three people on this thread smashing each other to death - typical lol. Then there was the one Black and or racist comment as expected. I was actually waiting for the the Dems And Repubs to get into it as well. Ahh it's still early I guess. BTW, he was charged. I am very sad to inform you wonderful citizens that nothing is getting "swept" anywhere. It's in the courts hands now. Wait for the result, read , comment, wash and do it all over again. Zzzz Zzzzz
Michael P. Burke April 23, 2014 at 11:53 AM
27 years old? That's a grown adult! Probably older than a portion of the officers on the force! I could understand maybe if he was 17 years old, it would be a childish fantasy but 27 years old? Obviously personal responsibility is out the window. The Virginia Code is a big book so throw the whole book at him! He should have known better!
John Strother April 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM
The man was 27 years old, out raising hell with an 18 year old girl in the car. Pretending to be his father or another police officer. Smoking and taking controlled substances. Talk about a one way ticket to the big house. I hope he is very careful when he showers there. He will not be a virgin long.
Donna May 01, 2014 at 09:24 AM
A 27 year old still presumably living with his parents? That just might be the first red flag that the family has a problem. Dad might want to grow a bigger foot!

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