Off-Duty Police Officer Arrested After Allegedly Waving Fake Gun at Another Driver in Road Rage Incident

An off-duty California police officer has been arrested after allegedly threatening another driver with a fake gun during a road rage incident, authorities have said.

Georgeta Buruiana, 38, was taken into custody after the incident in the Saugus neighborhood of Santa Clarita, California, on Saturday evening, KABC reported. Buruiana—an officer with the LAPD— has been charged with felony brandishing of a firearm, according to the station.

It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the dispute between Buruiana, who lives in Saugus, and the other motorist.

However, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Santa Clarita Valley Station told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal the arrest related to an "alleged road rage incident."

The spokeswoman added that the other motorist said Buruiana had brandished a firearm in their direction "in a threatening manner" as they drove along Rye Canyon Road. The newspaper reported that deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Station responded to reports of an assault with a deadly weapon shortly after 5 p.m.

They arrested Buruiana around 30 minutes later when they managed to stop her car near the intersection of Copper Hill Drive and Seco Canyon Road. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has been contacted for additional comment.

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, it was initially believed that Buruiana's vehicle was the weapon used in the alleged road rage incident. But the arrest report revealed the charge against her was "brandish firearm replica at occupant of a vehicle."

However, the part of the California Penal Code that is referenced in the arrest relates to "any" firearm, regardless of whether it is loaded or not, and a person is guilty if the weapon is used "in a threatening manner against another person in such a way as to cause a reasonable person apprehension or fear of bodily harm."

If convicted of the felony charge, Buruiana could face up to three years in prison and a $3,000 fine.

Online records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department show Buruiana was booked into jail at 6 p.m. and released around three hours later after posting $20,000 bond. She has been assigned home pending the results of an investigation, a spokesperson for the LAPD confirmed to KABC.

KTLA reported that Buruiana is an officer assigned to the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division. The Los Angeles Police Department had been contacted for additional comment.

LAPD HQ
Stock photo: Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters in Los Angeles, California. An off-duty LAPD officer was arrested after allegedly brandishing a fake firearm at another driver during a road rage incident. Raymond Boyd/Getty Images