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Hunker man charged with impersonating an officer

| Friday, Oct. 22, 2010

A Hunker man has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer after pretending to be a policemen during a bar fight in Mt. Pleasant on Sunday.

Mt. Pleasant Borough Police said a fight broke out at around 1:29 a.m. at The End Zone, located along West Main Street.

According to the affidavit filed with District Judge Roger Eckels, when police arrived and began interviewing victims and witnesses, David Keith Ritenour Jr., 24, told Patrolman Justin James of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department that he was a student at Westmoreland County Community College's police academy and had a job lined up at a local police department.

"Ritenour continued to explain that he was getting a job in six months in South Connellsville, to work with Officer Reese," James said in the affidavit. "I then explained that Officer Reese does not work in South Connellsville, he is employed by the City of Connellsville." Ritenour then told James he made a mistake. He was going to work for the Connellsville Police Department.

Another officer at the scene told James that Ritenour told him that he was in the Army and finishing the police academy. Police also overheard Ritenour tell a woman in the bar that he had to tell the police he was in the police academy because he's really working undercover.

After contacting the WCCC police academy, police discovered Ritenour was not enrolled.

Bartenders at The End Zone told police Ritenour had frequented the establishment numerous times. Ritenour told the bar workers he was an undercover cop working for Scottdale Police. He told workers not to reveal his secret.

The bartenders told police that during the bar fight, Ritenour jumped up, put his hand in the back of his pants and said: "I'm going to arrest you, I'm a cop. I don't have my handcuffs." He then told the men involved in the fight to put their hands behind their backs.

According to the affidavit, when police arrived at the scene, Ritenour told witnesses: "Here comes my guys, that's the car I ride around in."

Ritenour was arraigned before District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec and was charged with unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, criminal coercion and six counts of impersonating a public servant.

He was confined to the Westmoreland County Prison, unable to post 10 percent of a $3,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Oct. 27 at Eckels' office.

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