A booze-fuelled ex-soldier crashed his car into a wooden fence, waved a knife while pretending to be a policeman, then got naked.
David Saunders, 37, narrowly missed hitting a family as he drove into a traffic island at high speed in Ashford, Kent. He told them: ‘The fence got in my way.’
As a witness called 999, he tried to grab his phone and claimed he was an undercover cop.
When pedestrian Terry Stuart — also nearly hit — asked to see his ID, Saunders pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his wrecked Vauxhall Astra, then produced a kitchen knife.
He threatened to attack, waving the ‘medium-sized’ blade erratically as witnesses fled the scene around 3pm on November 20.
Real police later cornered him in a car park where he ‘stripped down eventually to complete nakedness’.
Officers were forced to pepper-spray him due to his ‘aggressive’ behaviour, Richard Mandel, prosecuting, told Canterbury Crown Court.
After throwing the knife in a bush, he was taken to nearby William Harvey Hospital but refused to give a breath sample and told police ‘no comment’.
He had shown onlookers his handcuffs to ‘prove’ he was a police officer – but later admitted he had them ‘for making prank TikTok videos’.
The labourer was jailed for 18 months at Canterbury crown court after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, threatening another with a blade, impersonating a police officer and failing to give a specimen.
He now has 25 convictions for 41 offences, many for violence or offensive weapons, the court heard.
Saunders blamed an unidentified passenger seen leaving the crash scene for his actions that day.
Sarah Selby, mitigating, said a passenger had convinced him to drive to a medical emergency after he drank four cans of lager and took prescribed painkillers.
Saunders had fought alcohol addiction after being bullied at school and his drinking worsened when he was wrongly discharged from the Army and suffered a family bereavement, the court heard.
Ms Selby said he had carried the knife for practical reasons.
But Recorder Laurence Harris warned the ex-soldier’s actions were ‘clearly serious offending’ as he sentenced him.
He said: ‘This must have been frightening to members of the public who you narrowly missed when you crashed into the fence.’