A Long Island, N.Y., man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of impersonating a federal agent and handcuffing a teen driver after a road rage incident.
On Sunday, 39-year-old insurance executive David Bradley turned on his emergency lights and pulled over a 19-year-old driver, according to Suffolk County police. Clad in a bulletproof vest, Bradley identified himself as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent, handcuffed the teen, Travis Melito, and then took him to his home, where he released him five minutes later, police said.
Police arrested him the next day, when Bradley went to a police precinct to file a complaint about the road rage incident.
Bradley, who is a father of two, faces charges of second-degree unlawful imprisonment and criminal impersonation.
Suffolk County district attorney spokesman Robert Clifford said prosecutors have eyewitness evidence that Bradley exited his vehicle, wearing a badge around his neck and carrying a handgun in his holster, and padded Melito down against his Mitsubishi before searching his car and driving him to his home in Port Jefferson Station. When Bradley drove Melito back to his car and set him free, he told the teen, "This is your lucky day," Clifford said.
The district attorney's investigation is ongoing, Clifford said.
Anthony LaPinta, Bradley's attorney, said his client denies the allegations. There was a "confrontation" between Bradley and the teen driver, but Bradley did not handcuff him or impersonate law enforcement, LaPinta said.
"[Bradley] is a decent person, he's a family man, he's an accomplished businessman with no prior convictions," LaPinta said, adding that the teen was intentionally fabricating the story.
It was not Bradley's first time allegedly impersonating an ICE agent. He is charged with second-degree criminal impersonation in a May 4 incident in which police said he attempted to enter a crime scene.
Bradley is being held on $150,000 bail and is set to be indicted this week.