LEAGUE CITY — A dispute over the ownership of a luxury sedan led to felony charges against a man accused of impersonating a deputy while taking the automobile’s keys at gunpoint.
Curtis Andrew Wheeler, 43, of Houston was released from the Galveston County Jail on a $60,000 bond on Thursday, following his early morning arrest at a League City gas station, sheriff’s office spokesman Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said.
The sheriff’s office received a call at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday from a woman in the 200 block of Texas Avenue in Bacliff. She said a man wearing a police-type hat displayed a badge and brandished a pistol before taking the keys from her boyfriend, Jonathan Fleener, 19.
The woman had made a down payment to another woman, who was the registered owner of the Lexus. Authorities didn’t immediately know when the payment took place.
“Wheeler shows up in the 200 block of Texas where the woman that has possession of the car and her boyfriend stay,” Tuttoilmondo said. “He flashes the badge and, at gunpoint, takes the keys.”
Deputies accused Wheeler of telling Fleener someone would return for the Lexus. Wheeler then left the scene in a white Toyota truck, Tuttoilmondo said. Deputies also accused Wheeler of returning a short time later with the Lexus’ registered owner, with whom Wheeler is acquainted.
“The purchaser knows the woman and thinks she knows the guy and thinks he or she may work at a gas station near Highway 96 and Walker,” Tuttoilmondo said. “Deputies go to League City and find the suspect.”
Deputies looked in the car at the gas station in the 1700 block of West Walker, where they found a hat, a badge and a gun, Tuttoilmondo said.
“They found a cap displaying a Department of Corrections emblem, a gold state of Texas process server badge and a pistol, all matching the descriptions given by the victim, inside the suspect’s trunk,” Tuttoilmondo said.
Wheeler works as a private process server with no law enforcement authority, Tuttoilmondo said.
Deputies arrested Wheeler about 12:30 a.m. Thursday and, after consulting with a prosecutor, charged him with impersonating a public servant and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Tuttoilmondo said.