Cops: Man arrested for impersonating officer to search for Ohio convict
Derry police arrested a man who allegedly dressed up like a police officer to search for an escaped convict.
Matthew Joseph James, 19, of Derry, is charged with impersonating a public servant, flight to avoid apprehension and loitering at night.
Police started investigating when an officer’s wife told her husband that two young males dressed like police officers were on bicycles on West 3rd Street., shining flashlights in her windows, according to court documents.
Officer David Marghella went to the neighborhood and found James and another male at an Owens Street home.
They told Marghella they had been wearing police costumes earlier, including police hats and plastic badges, court documents said.
They allegedly said they were looking for an escaped convict from Ohio, who had been spotted in Westmoreland County.
Marghella told the men that impersonating police officers was dangerous and illegal.
James asked to use the restroom. Marghella said yes, and James sneaked out of the house through a window, according to the affidavit.
Marghella called James using the other man’s phone and convinced James to come back and turn himself in.
James in the Westmoreland County Jail on $5,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing before District Judge Mark J. Bilik is scheduled for Oct. 9.
He’s also awaiting a hearing for a previous charge of simple assault and disorderly conduct.
Christopher Clemente, an escaped inmate from an Ohio Jail, was spotted in Westmoreland County Sunday.
He was seen in surveillance footage from the Sheetz on Route 22 in New Alexandria and at Westmoreland Mall, which was evacuated Sunday afternoon.
Clemente and three other escapees were found and arrested in North Carolina Monday.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .