Teen arrested for pretending to be cop - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Teen arrested for pretending to be cop

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BAY CITY (WJRT) - (06/23/14) - A 17-year-old will spend the night in jail, accused of pretending to be a police officer.

A judge is expected to formally charge that teen Tuesday. We won't release his name until he goes before a judge.

He was arrested at his Bay County home Monday around 11 a.m., according to Bay City Police.

It all started Saturday just before 11 p.m. when the teen, dressed in what looked like a Michigan State Police uniform, walked into the Budget Inn at 1305 Washington Avenue in Bay City.

Surveillance video inside the Budget Inn captured everything that happened in the lobby.

"Said he was with the Michigan State Police, and that he had a report of a fight going on," motel manager Kevin Schmitt said.

Schmitt took who he thought was a real police officer to the supposed trouble spot. "He told me to scoot back out of the way, for my safety reasons," Shmitt said.

A woman in the room said nothing was wrong, and that's all that happened at the room.

Schmitt and the teen then went back down to the lobby.

"Nothing added up about the whole situation," Schmitt said. "He was speaking on a radio that he had in front of his chest. Nobody was answering him. You know and I looked and he didn't have no earpiece or nothing in, and I got to thinking where's his car? He said it was parked on the side, that's the way Michigan State Police does things is they sneak up."

After the teen left and Schmitt and the other manager on duty talked, they decided to flag down a real Bay City police officer who was driving by.

That office investigated, and collected a surveillance picture of the teen.

The next day, Bay City Police put a picture of the fake cop on Facebook, and got a tip.

That brings us back to Monday. "Made an arrest. He confessed to impersonating a police officer," said Bay City Public Safety Director Michael Cecchini. "People need to be aware that this can happen."

Cecchini thinks the 17-year-old may have a fascination with police. "If someone goes to the extent of getting a uniform and putting it on and then sort of role playing that they're a police officer, I would make the assumption they have some type of infatuation with law enforcement, and you see this from time to time."

If you're ever legitimately concerned you're not dealing with a real police officer, Cecchini says ask to see credentials.

"You need to obey the officer, but if you're really unsure, you can always politely ask, 'You know it seems odd that you're in an unmarked vehicle, can I see your commission card, can you please have your supervisor come out here?'" Cecchini said.

Another option, call 911 to check and see if you're dealing with a real cop.

Thankfully this motel manager had a gut feeling, and followed it.

"A uniformed officer, you put your trust in them. I mean I'm still freaked out about it," Schmitt said.

The 17-year-old is being charged as an adult. He faces one count of "False Representation of a Police Officer", which Cecchini says is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.
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