A Bay Area man accused of impersonating a CHP officer in Atascadero in July pleaded not guilty to six charges in a San Luis Obispo courtroom Wednesday.
Mark Ryan Polini, 27, of San Jose, pleaded not guilty to charges of impersonating a police officer, receiving stolen property, two counts of carrying a loaded weapon, child pornography possession and grand theft.
On July 19, police arrested Polini after an officer pulled him over as he was driving an unmarked black 2001 Ford Crown Victoria near the Atascadero Shell station at East Front Street and San Gabriel Road.
Polini was wearing black pants, a black shirt and a CHP cap, police said.
Polini consented to a search of his car, police said, which revealed a loaded pistol, handcuffs, two badges, several air-soft pistols, holsters and an expandable police baton.
Polini's car was also outfitted with a dashboard camera, front and rear strobe lights, siren, mobile data computer, radios and an interior screen. Police determined that Polini had interacted with at least two people who thought he was a CHP officer in the San Jose area about one month before his July arrest in Atascadero.
In one case, he allegedly followed a 17-year old girl home and told her about a traffic infraction he said she was involved in while speaking to her in her driveway, police said.
Another was an interaction with a park ranger who questioned him, police said, and Polini reportedly told the ranger that he was an undercover CHP officer.
Atascadero police detectives discovered a digital file containing more than 1,900 images of child pornography on a laptop found inside his mock police car during a search, police said.
Polini was also arrested Aug. 2 on suspicion of being in possession of stolen property, police said, which included jewelry and coins. Details on bail amount from that arrest were not available Monday.