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Phony cop slips into the dark

MANCHESTER — Police are looking for a man who sought medical treatment at Elliot Hospital Thursday evening in the guise of a Massachusetts State Police trooper.

Police said the man showed up at the emergency room around 5:20 p.m., identified himself as a state trooper and requested treatment for a rib injury that he said he sustained during a prisoner transport to the State Prison in Concord.

Police said the man was &#';clean-cut&#'; and wore a gun in a holster and carried what appeared to be a portable police radio. He also wore a ballistic vest over a blue T-shirt with a Massachusetts State Police logo.

The &#';trooper&#'; said he and his partner, who was reportedly waiting for him outside in their cruiser, had decided to stop at the hospital since it was on their way back to the barracks in Concord, Mass.

Hospital staff became suspicious after the man could not produce identification, and they alerted security.

The &#';trooper&#'; told the guards that his partner could verify his identity. Meanwhile, the guards contacted officials with the Massachusetts State Police, who refuted the information the man provided.

&#';Through it all, he was polite and cooperative, but there were little indicators. Each account he gave changed slightly,&#'; Manchester Police Lt. Maureen Tessier said. &#';As the situation progressed, there were signs that he seemed to be getting nervous.&#';

At one point, the security guards asked the man to turn over his gun before he received treatment. He initially agreed, but then changed his mind and told the guards that he would feel better leaving it with his partner, according to Tessier.

Security accompanied the man into the parking lot as he attempted to locate his &#';partner.&#'; He then walked toward an adjacent parking lot, and the man disappeared.

A Manchester officer who was at the hospital on an unrelated matter aided in the search for the man, which was then joined by additional police, but they were unable to find him.

The man did provide a name to hospital staff, but police declined to release it.

Tessier said she's unaware of any similar recent incidents in the city involving a police impersonator. &#';This seems to be a rather unique situation,&#'; she said.

Tessier said it's not clear what the man's intentions were, but she said one possibility was that it was an &#';effort to obtain narcotics.&#';

The &#';trooper&#'; is described as a white male, 30 to 35 years old, and about 5 foot 8 inches tall and 160 pounds, with brown eyes, short dark hair and a large nose. In addition to the Massachusetts State Police shirt and ballistic vest, he was wearing a black jacket, dark fatigue pants and combat boots.

Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to contact the Manchester Police Department at 668-8711. Anonymous tips for cash rewards can be made through Manchester Crimeline at 624-4040 or online at manchestercrimeline.org.

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