A member of the NYPD's volunteer Auxiliary Police force in Staten Island was arrested on Monday for impersonating a police officer in order to get the new Grand Theft Auto game, the NYPD reported.
Two other people were arrested and charged with him. One of them had displayed a tattoo of a police shield as evidence that he was a police officer — which the Game Stop store manager apparently accepted.
Staten Island anti-crime officers — not volunteers — were patrolling the Staten Island Mall on Richmond Avenue Monday around midnight because of the large crowd outside the Game Stop Store waiting for the new Grand Theft Auto release, a law enforcement official said.
These officers saw a grey 2005 Ford Crown Victoria with tinted windows pull up to the mall. Three men got out, approached mall security and were let into the store before the crowd of about 500 people, police said, while the mall was still closed.
A little while later, the officers saw the three men leave the mall with shopping bags, get back into the car, and take off, police said. The officers pursued the car, which disregarded several red lights and failed to signal for turns, and conducted a traffic stop at Bridgetown Street and Furness Place.
The driver of the car, 19-year-old Kirolos Abdelsayed, identified himself to the police officers as an Auxiliary cop, and the officers noticed the car had functioning police lights and sirens, police said.
The law enforcement official said the manager at the Game Stop store told the police officers that the two other people in the car, 20-year-old Matthew Kirshen and 19-year-old Frank Santanastaso, also pretended to be cops. Kirshen showed the manager a fake NYPD shield. Santanastaso reportedly showed a tattoo of a police shield that he has on his upper arm.
All three men were arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer. Auxiliary Police Officer Abdelsayed was suspended as of 8:55 a.m. Tuesday morning.
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