Indictment says fake cop forced women to pull over
BRENTWOOD – A Newmarket man who allegedly admitted to stopping several cars in New Hampshire and Massachusetts was indicted on charges of impersonating a police officer in two Seacoast towns.
Michael Heath, 42, faces two counts of false personation for allegedly pulling over female drivers in Hampton and Stratham, according to prosecutors.
The indictments were sought by county prosecutors after they pulled out of a plea deal to resolve Heath's charges in district court.
Heath now faces a pair of Class B felonies, punishable by up to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison.
Prosecutors say that Heath brandished a police badge to a female driver on Aug. 29 in Stratham and again on Sept. 8 in Hampton.
Heath was not indicted in a third case that he was charged with out of Epping, where he allegedly attempted to pull over a 36-year-old woman at the intersection of Routes 125 and 27 last Nov. 9.
Hampton police arrested Heath in their town for pulling over a woman along Route 101 east near Route 1 about 10:03 p.m. on Sept. 8.
The woman was suspicious of Heath's appearance and asked for the motor vehicle stop to be done at the police station, court records say.
Heath agreed to go to the police station, but then turned around and drove off, prompting the woman to call Hampton police, according to a police report.
Public defenders had planned to resolve Heath's charges through a plea deal in district court that would have sent Heath to jail for 90 days as part of a largely deferred one year sentence.
Heath would also have been required to undergo a sex offender evaluation and remain on probation for two years, records say.
But county prosecutors recently backed away from that deal, and sought felony indictments from a grand jury instead.
Heath was released from the Rockingham County jail on Jan. 7 following his latest arrest in Newmarket. Police arrested Heath on Nov. 18 for allegedly violating his bail conditions by driving along Exeter Road around 10:03 p.m.
Heath told police during a Sept. 13 interview that he has also stopped motorists in Newfields, Hampton Falls, Newington, Portsmouth, Kittery, Maine and along Interstate 495 in Massachusetts, according to a police report.
He also claimed to stop cars along the Spaulding Turnpike in New Hampshire and along Route 95 in Maine, police said.
Heath has not been charged in those cases.
Police say that Heath used a badge and blue lighting in his 2005 Buick Century to stop women driving on area roads.
The car bears the vanity plate DFIANT.
Stratham police searched Heath's vehicle on Sept. 11, Stratham police found "several sexual items" including condoms and packets of lubrication, according to a police report by Hampton police Det. Christopher Gilroy.
"Mr. Heath acquiesced that we had probably discovered his activities at the right time to curb any further advancements in his behavior," Gilroy said in his report.