Idyllwild man, 72, arrested while impersonating FEMA official

IDYLLWILD — Authorities arrested a 72-year-old Idyllwild resident Saturday afternoon, March 21, after he was found to be impersonating an armed FEMA official and contacting area residents and other citizens while “offering his services as a law enforcement professional,” according to CHP officials.

“In these uncertain times, be wary of scams, cons and dishonesty,” CHP admonished area residents after the man’s apprehension. “This person was using the current crisis to take advantage of unsuspecting victims to make money.”


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Two CHP officers assigned to the San Gorgonio Pass CHP Station were dispatched to the mountain community of Idyllwild Saturday afternoon after receiving reports of a suspicious person, CHP reported after the incident and arrest. A 911 caller reported an elderly man was seen walking in the downtown area while identifying himself as a FEMA agent.

While searching the area, CHP officers spotted the alleged suspect, Pierre Surgen Alexander Hormann, talking to people in the area of Village Center Dr., south of N. Circle Dr.

CHP arrested Pierre Hormann, 72, of Idyllwild, after he was found in possession of a loaded and concealed firearm while impersonating a FEMA agent. The elderly suspect was also found to be in possession of multiple counterfeit badges, several false forms of law enforcement identification, and other items indicating he was a law enforcement official.

After contacting the Idyllwild senior, officers found him to be in possession of a loaded .45 caliber handgun, additional rounds of ammunition, multiple counterfeit police and security badges, multiple counterfeit law enforcement ID cards, and a counterfeit “concealed carry permit”.

Officers quickly determined Hormann was not a FEMA agent and had no ties to any legitimate law enforcement agency and based on their investigation, officers arrested Hormann.

After his arrest, Hormann was transported to Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning where he was booked on suspicion of impersonating a peace officer and possession of a loaded and concealed firearm without a permit.

Online jail records indicate Hormann was released the day after his arrest after posting $5,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court Aug. 21.

“While it is true that some agencies operate in ‘plain clothes’, you should never be asked for money when dealing with a legitimate law enforcement agency,” CHP later explained; saying, “People like this discredit and undermine real law enforcement professionals.”

Anyone with further information regarding this investigation or who believes they may have been victimized by Hormann is encouraged to contact CHP Officer M. Bell or Officer G. Aanestad at (951) 769-2000. Callers can refer to incident file number JP06360 and can remain anonymous.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.


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