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Published: Tuesday, 8/28/2012

Man arrested after searching police cars, impersonating officer


Returning to the Safety Building after a call Monday night, two police officers saw a man opening doors to police cars parked at the downtown headquarters.

Police stopped the man, who, when asked, reportedly said he worked for the department and that his name was Collins, and that his badge number was 411. He reportedly said he did not have his departmental ID, but that the badge was in his pocket.

“Collins what?” one of the officers reportedly asked, according to a Toledo police report.

The man responded saying that his name was Lt. Collins.

“This officer knew that this was not Lt. Collins,” an officer wrote in a report.

Police charged the man, 61-year-old Joseph Ritenour, of 5210 S. Berkey Southern Rd., Whitehouse, with impersonating an officer, providing false information to an officer, criminal trespassing, and disorderly conduct and was taken to the Lucas County jail.

In Toledo Municipal Court today, Mr. Ritenour was ordered to be released from the jail. His case was continued until Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said there is a Lt. Mark Collins on the department, but does not think Mr. Ritenour and the lieutenant know one another.

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