Police catch man claiming to be cop

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — That he wasn’t wearing a uniform was the first tip a White Castle employee had that a 33-year-old man wasn’t a police officer as claimed.

Southgate resident Anthony Ratajczyk was charged on Tuesday in 25th District Court with impersonating a police officer, just hours after he allegedly entered White Castle, 2115 Fort St., and claimed to be a Michigan State Police officer and needed access to the restaurant’s office and back room.

According to police reports, Ratajczyk claimed to be assigned to the Oak Park post and was investigating a nearby robbery.

“He said … he had been sent to check on the employees and needed to come into the back room and make a phone call,” investigators said.

The employees were immediately suspicious of Ratajczyk, who was wearing a pair of shorts and a blue hooded sweatshirt.

“She knew something wasn’t right because (Ratajczyk) didn’t have a uniform or badge,” investigators said.

The clerk explained that she couldn’t let him in the back according to store policy. Ratajczyk then handed the clerk a handwritten note with “Officer Tony Ratajczyk” written on it, along with a phone number and the name “Rachel.” The phone number, when called by the clerk, was not in service.

Still unconvinced, the clerk did not permit Ratajczyk to enter the back area, and he handed her a second, hand-written note (on the back of a receipt), which read “Trooper Tony” and “From MSP Post Oak Park.” The second note was also signed.

Ratajczyk left the store and drove off in a silver vehicle, which was soon located on Park Avenue by police. Michigan State Police records confirmed that Ratajczyk was not a police officer as claimed.

Ratajczyk was taken into custody and arraigned before 25th District Court Judge Michael Ciungan on the misdemeanor charge of impersonating a police officer. Ratajczyk was released on bond and is scheduled for a pre-trial exam on Dec. 10.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)