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Court: 'Transformers' driver not impersonating cop

Maserati in disguise: Zhang Zhijun cleared of impersonating a police officer when court hears car's paint scheme references "Transformers" films.

By
Ben Hooper
A Saleen S281 police car serving as stand-in for the alternate mode of the Decepticon character Barricade during filming of 2007 film Transformers. (1st Lt. Brad Kimberly, USAF)
A Saleen S281 police car serving as stand-in for the alternate mode of the Decepticon character Barricade during filming of 2007 film "Transformers." (1st Lt. Brad Kimberly, USAF)

QUINCY, Mass., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts court dropped police impersonation charges against a man who decorated his Maserati to resemble a Transformers vehicle.

Quincy District Court Clerk Magistrate Robert Bloom dismissed the charge of impersonating a police officer Thursday after hearing how Zhang Zhijun, 23, of Braintree, painted his 2010 GranTurismo to resemble the character Barricade from the Transformers films rather than a real-life police car.

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The magistrate heard Zhijun had not attempted any police-like actions such as pulling over drivers or dressing as an officer while driving the vehicle.

The Maserati is painted in the black and white style of a police cruiser, but it has the words "Decepticons punish and enslave," painted on the doors and bears no blue lights or items designed to resemble police lights.

Zhijun was not speeding or committing any other traffic violations when he was pulled over Aug. 9, defense attorney Russell Matson told the magistrate.

"Now everybody knows I'm not trying to be a police officer," Zhijun said after the charges were dropped.

He said he will probably keep his car decorated in the Transformers theme for another month.

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