ShareThis Page

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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me