In July 2017, Jerome Henin said he was driving along Orlando Avenue in Winter Park when he saw a funeral procession, and changed lanes. Someone who he assumed was an officer, later identified as Dylan Vogt, told him to stop and that he was “committing assault.”
He then realized that the man may have not been a real officer. Henin said he panicked and sped away. Vogt then called Winter Park police and said Henin hit him. Henin was arrested shortly after on suspicion of aggravated assault and battery.
For months, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating Metro State, Vogt and owner Jeremy Dewitte for similar incidents during funeral escorts.
According to investigators, Vogt was acting outside the scope of the funeral procession and Henin was required by law to stop. However, it seems the arresting officer didn’t know that.
According to Vogt’s arrest affidavit, the investigator wrote that the Winter Park officer and “his agency failed to investigate the legitimacy of the company Metro State and said he and his fellow employees thought that Metro State was law enforcement, because of their uniforms and decals.”
Vogt is suing Henin, and Henin is countersuing Vogt and the funeral home that hired Metro State. Henin and his attorney declined to comment. Vogt did not return Channel 9′s request for comment.
Last month, Dewitte was arrested for an incident in Windermere, where officials said had a police badge on his shirt and was wearing a bullet-resistant vest and a helmet with a police-like badge on it while he worked at a funeral procession.
Police said he was also wearing a fully equipped belt containing a BB gun that resembled a real gun, pepper spray, a baton, handcuffs, pocketknives and a two-way radio.
Police said Dewitte is a registered sex offender and is not allowed to carry a firearm.
The Department of Corrections has records of Dewitte's 2001 conviction for a similar charge of impersonating an officer, along with records of a 2005 sex offense of lewd acts with a minor under the age of 15.