Police: 18-year-old impersonating corrections officer arrested at Palmetto Senior High

Erick Anthony Moore Jr. was arrested for falsely impersonating an officer after he entered Miami's Palmetto Senior High School. (WPLG)

PINECREST, Fla. – An 18-year-old appearing to be a corrections officer was arrested at Miami Palmetto Senior High School when school police became suspicious on Thursday.

Investigators said that Erick Anthony Moore Jr. of Miami was inside the school around 1 p.m. talking to staff when Miami-Dade Schools police approached him.

The officers said he was wearing a Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department jacket and a traffic vest. He also had on a state of Florida Corrections identification badge that police noticed did not look like him. After further investigation, police discovered the badge ID was not Moore’s but showed the name “P. Hardemon.”

According to a report, Moore was asked if he was just hired by the corrections department, and he told them “yes” and that Corrections was also going to be sending him to the “academy soon.”

After two officers spoke with Moore, they asked him to unbutton his jacket and questioned him about having any weapons. Moore said that he was not in possession of any weapons. According to the report, however, police said he had a handcuff case affixed to his belt and a pouch on his right hip with a white object in the shape of a firearm.

It was then that police decided to detain him and escorted him to the school’s main office.

After a pat-down, police found a pair of handcuffs, a thermometer in the shape of a firearm, a pocketknife, and two credit cards that did not belong to Moore.

He was arrested for impersonating an officer, trespassing on school property with a firearm, unlawfully possessing a stolen credit or debit card, burglary, and unlawful use of a police badge.

As police were ready to transport Moore, he said he was having heart pain and difficulty breathing. He was taken to Baptist Hospital to be checked out at 3:22 p.m. and released just after 6 p.m.

He was then transported to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a statement:

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is aware of an isolated incident involving an individual who attempted to access one of our school campuses yesterday. Thanks to the safeguards in place, Miami-Dade Schools Police and school security quickly detained the individual, and he was arrested upon further investigation. M-DCPS remains committed to fostering a safe learning environment for students and employees.”

M-DCPS also stated that “at no point were any threats made.”

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.