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Va. Officer's Son Takes Patrol Car for Joy Ride

April 01, 2014  | 

The son of a Fairfax County, Va., police officer has been arrested for taking his father's cruiser out for a high-speed drive, activating the emergency lights, wearing a police uniform shirt, and firing a gun, authorities told the Washington Post.

James Michael Puebla Berling, 27, of Centreville, and an acquaintance are facing a number of charges after a Virginia State Police trooper spotted the cruiser speeding down Route 29 in Centreville with its lights on shortly after 1 a.m. on March 16, state police said.

Trooper J.H. Stubblefield followed the cruiser at a distance and notified Fairfax County police. As the trooper rounded a corner in his car, he saw the cruiser pull onto Stillfield Place and stop, state police said.

The driver and the passenger fled into the woods on foot. The trooper was able to detain the passenger, who was identified as 18-year-old Caitlin Lee of Centreville, authorities said. Berling was apprehended after Fairfax County police set up a perimeter and searched the area. Berling was found wearing his father's uniform shirt, authorities said.


Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Junior @ 4/1/2014 2:27 PM

I love cruising in my dads police cruiser. It is so much fun.

Capt. Crunch @ 4/1/2014 7:36 PM

I wonder if he got a second date with her.

Vincent T ortiz @ 4/2/2014 5:10 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with the Father to this confussed young man. I see others making jokes at someone else's expense. NOT COOL. I thought we are supposed to be a Family of Brothers in Blue? I am sure he did not learn this behavior from his Dad. May God heal your Family.

Bob Smith @ 4/2/2014 5:27 AM

How about following protocol for securing your vehicle? Father has no responsibility for his family member (or anyone) taking police property. I'd lose my job for less.

Greg @ 4/2/2014 6:02 AM

OK...to clarify the story. The father was on vacation. The gun used was fired in the house and not brought with him during his drive (brilliant, eh?) and the gun used in the house was not the officer's service weapon.

Better question...why was a 27 y.o. male still living with his parents?

TERRY F. ZECH @ 4/2/2014 9:44 AM

I guarantee you that James will not be residing with his father after this little escapade. He will have to take up residence in the gray bar hotel for at least a coupole of years. I feel bad for his father who obviously was trying to work with him but the son has made the wrong choices.

Capt. Crunch @ 4/2/2014 12:42 PM

@ Greg, why he still lives at home I would say because of the economy. That is pretty normal out here in California.

longtimecop @ 4/2/2014 1:13 PM

Our department has a policy that your car has to be parked at headquarters or at another officer's home, while you're on vacation (or locked in your garage). But lets not jump on the family for the son still living at home. My 25 year-old is living at home, trying to pay off student loans.

EODK9Trainer @ 4/2/2014 2:16 PM

Who the hell feels it is their right to question why this guy was still living with the parents w/o knowing the story. I have a 24 year old son with us. Does this make us bad parents? He's here for medical reasons. Some need to rethink what they are writing before hitting the submit button.

Greg @ 4/9/2014 10:21 AM

Sorry, at 27, it's time to be out of Mommy & Daddy's house. There are jobs in Northern VA (if people want to work). I sure don't recall calling anyone's parents bad...I put the responsibility to grow up and move out on the kid (and he was out with an 18 y.o. high school girl). At 27, I'd been out of the Army for 5 years.

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