GARFIELD HEIGHTS - A 55-year-old Cleveland patrolman was arrested on two misdemeanor charges after he was stopped by Garfield Heights police officers and found to be in a vehicle with a 15-year-old girl and a gun.
Mario Lozada was arrested 11:30 Thursday night by Garfield Heights police and charged with two counts, contributing to the unruliness/delinquency of a child and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.
A police report states, Lozada was pulled over on a traffic violation after an officer saw the dark-colored SUV he was driving go through Jack C. Donovan Park, which closes at dark. The vehicle was stopped a short time later for a traffic violation.
When Garfield police pulled over the vehicle, the officer noticed a firearm in the back-seat of the SUV and ordered both parties to keep their hands visible.
The 15-year-old first told police that Lozada was her step-father, who had been in a relationship with her mother for three years. Lozada also told officers he met the girl because he had been in a relationship with her mother. However, the girl's mother was called to the scene and said she did not know him and never met him.
Garfield officers found his Cleveland police uniform shirt and badge in the rear of the vehicle.
The report further states, that when Lozada was asked why he didn't identify himself as an officer, Lozada said he "did not want to identify himself while officers had body-worn cameras on, and was not that kind of a guy."
He was released on bond and is due in court later this month.
Cleveland police say Lozada has been on the force for 26 years. He has been placed on paid administrative leave.