Orlando Hotusing was serious about public safety. Flashing a badge and identification card, police say the 48-year-old identified himself as a federal air marshal, patrolling his Mesa apartment complex, performing traffic stops and once getting into a vehicle pursuit.
But authorities say Hotusing isn’t who he says he is. And now he could face multiple charges of impersonating a peace officer.
“Federal air marshals’ duties are protecting the aircraft, the airspace and airports,” Federal Air Marshal Program spokesman Dave Adams said Thursday. “We, obviously, would not be pulling over vehicles.”
Hotusing’s son really is an air marshal in Miami. Authorities said they didn’t know if Orlando Hotusing Jr. knew of his father’s activities. Mesa police are seeking Hotusing for questioning. Officers went to his apartment on Wednesday, but it had been vacated, police spokesman Sgt. Chuck Trapani said.
Police said Hotusing moved into the Village in the Pines apartments at 1050 West Eighth Ave. last summer. He identified himself as a marshal, and received a rent discount.
A manager at the complex said Hotusing volunteered to watch the grounds, and was interested in establishing a citizens patrol.
“He was a model resident, as far as I know,” said Keith Underwood, property supervisor for Consolidated Asset Management, adding he’d had no complaints about Hotusing.
But over the last month, Hotusing used his 2002 champagne-colored Chrysler Town and Country minivan equipped with a “Kojak” style light to make traffic stops, police said.
Hotusing is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-11, 210-220 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has been known to carry an AR-15 assault rifle and also a semi-automatic handgun, and people should not try to capture him, police said. Police ask anyone with information to call (480) 644-2211.