1. #1
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    Post FF charged with criminal impersonation

    By WILLIAM KATES
    Associated Press Writer
    ONEIDA, N.Y. (AP) - State police say a 23-year-old unemployed
    volunteer firefighter pretended to be a police officer and pulled
    over as many as 60 women drivers over a five-year period,
    admonishing them for driving offenses and then letting them go.
    Troopers charged Thomas R. Leatz, of Sullivan, with first-degree
    criminal impersonation after his most recent victim gave his
    license plate number to authorities. Leatz was being held Thursday
    in the Madison County Jail on $5,000 bail.
    Although an imposing 6-feet tall and 270 pounds, Leatz never
    threatened any of the women or took anything from them, said Capt.
    Francis Coots. In some instances, he didn't even say anything to
    them before returning to his vehicle and driving off, the captain
    said.
    "It's an odd case," Coots said. "He had the idea he was a
    police officer and he believed he was doing something right."
    Leatz always picked out women driving alone, then used either
    his fireman's blue emergency light or his headlights to get the
    driver to pull over, said Investigator Dennis Blythe. He would
    scold the women for speeding, using their cell phone while driving,
    not using a turn signal or some other real or alleged violation,
    Blythe said.
    Leatz did not wear any type of uniform and identified himself
    only as a "police officer" without being specific about which law
    enforcement agency he represented, Blythe said. He used several
    different cars, some he owned and some he borrowed.
    The stops occurred in Madison and Onondaga counties but state
    police are also investigating whether Leatz may have stopped female
    motorists in Oswego, Jefferson and other upstate counties as well,
    Blythe said.
    Investigators said Leatz lives with his mother and had been a
    member of the Kirkville Volunteer Fire Department for five or six
    years. He has no criminal history and no record of mental illness,
    Coots said.
    Charles Nye, Leatz's uncle, said if the allegations are true,
    his nephew meant no harm.
    "Tommy is good kid. He's got a low IQ and if he was doing it he
    probably didn't realize how wrong it was," said Nye. "If he saw
    people breaking the law, he was probably just trying to help or
    explain."
    Nye discounted that Leatz could have been involved in incidents
    far beyond his home. "He gets lost driving around here," the
    uncle said.
    Leatz told investigators he began stopping women drivers in
    2000. However, Coots said state police did not really become aware
    of Leatz until the past few months.
    Leatz was arrested at his home without incident. He faces up to
    four years in prison if convicted.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    He has no criminal history and no record of mental illness,
    Well, he does now.

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    "Tommy is good kid. He's got a low IQ ...
    You have got to be kidding.

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    if his iq is so low how did he get on the f.d.

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    That's exactly what I was thinking. Low enough IQ to not be able to tell that this was wrong? Gets lost frequently driving around his hometown? How in the world do you justify making this guy a firefighter?
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    Low enough IQ to not be able to tell that this was wrong? Gets lost frequently driving around his hometown? How in the world do you justify making this guy a firefighter?

    Inability to make good decisions, gets lost driving...usually you'd be way past Firefighter and into a Chief's position by now!

    ===========

    All kidding aside, some folks who are a bit "slow" or with moderate physical disabilities can still be a hand around the firehouse especially helping out with non-emergency activities...if they're on the ball enough to follow directions and know their own limitations.

    That said, you've got to be on the watch for the wingnuts who can cause problems. Of course many of the wingnuts aren't "unusual" either.

    One of the best examples I can think of "warning signs" that made us reject an applicant was...
    a) He put blue lights on his truck right after handing in his application. One of our officers who was a State Trooper paid him a courtesy call while on the "other" job to take care of that matter.
    b) After that, again while the application was still in process, he started responding to calls. Ok, Chief talked to him, "Hey, can't be doing that."
    c) So after he now longer "responded" to calls, he'd go and "spectate" from a distance...and we're not talking things like fires that may bring out neighbors, but driving several miles to "watch" a medical call...

    I do know at some point in my lifetime, we will see pyschological testing become widespread (as for affordability, that would be a much better use than 95% of the "Homeland Security" money being thrown at FDs right now!)
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

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    Inability to make good decisions, gets lost driving...usually you'd be way past Firefighter and into a Chief's position by now!
    Hiiiiiiiiiiiiilarious Dalmation! I laughed for a good 2 or 3 minutes on that one.
    9/11/01 D.C. Joseph "Uncle Joe" Marchbanks
    Battalion 12
    Heaven In Harlem

    Tim
    CFD #143

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    Have you thseen my baseball ????????
    " We are not extraordinary people , we are people caught in extraordinary situations. " Chapter 1 IFSTA Manual

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    A little background info on this area. Believe it or not, there has been a rash of this type of behavior. Must be something in the water.

    Starting about 2 1/2 years ago, about 6 or 8 people ranging from John Q Public to those in public positions have been arrested or detained for impersonation or similar situations. I believe that this yahoo is the first person to actually be a Vol FF, but others have had in their possession lights, sirens, etc. We actualy have one of these yahoo's in my district. He has arrived at our calls before us and approached the patients asking them questions, telling them "the FD is on the way" and other stuff. This guy has all sorts of stickers on his car, a helmet on his back dash, had a blue light at one time but I havent seen him with it lately, wears jackets with our coutny's patch, and patches for first responder, EMT, and Paramedic...AT THE SAME TIME. During our Haloween detail, we drove by his house to find him in BDU's (ems pants), a sweatshirt with "LFD" (my FD's initials) written on it in either crayon or paint pen, a fanny pack bulging with EMS stuff, and a holster with all the toys. My captian had a great time on the PA telling all the little kiddies to look at the grown man dressing up and playing fireman.

    Obviously we brought this up to the Sheriffs. Heres the kicker thou...untill he actually DOES something, they can not touch him. We know how much of a slapper he is, we know how much of a danger he can be...but we cant do a thing. Its like us going around wearing our 9/11 FDNY+NYPD memorial hats...we dont belong to the FDNY. Should we be arrested?

    Moral here: use this guy...no matter how low of an IQ he has, no matter how shy or quiet he is...as an example. Make a big point.

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    Now I'll continue where Lyncourt49 has left off.

    This incident is a perfect example of why volunteer fire departments in New York State need to establish stricter guidelines on who they should, and should not allow into membership.

    The days of taking anyone you can get to man the roster needs to stop.

    The only crime my department does a check on is arson. What about RAPE, ROBBERY, BURGLERY, DRUG SALES, etc? People say that legally the only thing you can check is arson, but I can't bring myself to believing that.

    The standard needs to be set higher. If you have a guy who get's lost driving in his own neighborhood, his family says he has a low IQ this is not the guy I want walking through my house when I have a problem.
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

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    Default mentally ill

    No yokes about it, those who are mentally challenged are very good hands. I worked with a man for several years on a drilling rig who was, and he was a very good hand, not smart, but a good hand. He would do whatever you told him to, as long as you explained it to him. He would not stray until he completed the task.
    In my opinion, there should be more people like them in the fire service.....at least the volunteer side. He did not talk trash to anyone, followed orders from supervisors, showed up daily, showed a willingness to work, just a great all-around-hand.

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    Question

    I wonder if this one was related to the guy selling the hat on ebay
    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine. --Kurt Vonnegut

    To all those who have paid the ultimate price....our thoughts are always with you and our hearts are always connected to those you left behind

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    "He gets lost driving around here," the uncle says
    What's the big deal? Sounds like some chiefs I know.

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    Originally posted by SIGNAL99COM
    This incident is a perfect example of why volunteer fire departments in New York State need to establish stricter guidelines on who they should, and should not allow into membership.


    I'm not sure I'd limit that statement to just New York. Or just to volunteer departments.
    ullrichk
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    Tommy is good kid. He's got a low IQ ...
    You have got to be kidding.
    That's funny!!! I don't care who you are.

    At any rate, Forrest Gump or not, perhaps the local PD is lax in enforcing the traffic laws and this guy decided to do something about it. While it is a little disturbing that he used his blue light to pull people over, he never really caused any harm. He was doing what he thought in his mind was right and was trying to keep the roads safe. Maybe not the samrtest way of going about it....but

    Here's some food for thought. Ever reported a drunk driver, or called in someone who is driving 75 mph down the interstate while letting their 3 year old stand in the front seat unrestrained? Kinda the same thing...just slightly over the top.

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    "How'd you get the beans above the frank?" :0

    On track:

    People say that legally the only thing you can check is arson, but I can't bring myself to believing that.
    If that's the case, what kinda hokey horse$%&* is that, that you can't check for any crimes? People don't steal from fire departments? Attack co-workers? Most convicted arsonists started with other crimes first, they have patterns for such things at the FBI.

    We run everything: driving record, full criminal history, talk to past employers, for all applicants to become volunteers. Too many other people have gotten burned by not doing so, and we figured it might be time to learn from someone else's mistake before we have a problem.

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    The checking for only arson is because that is all we can check for here in NYS. I am satill trying to figure out why anyone would stop for a car with a BLUE light or flashing headlights any way. LEO's in NYS use only RED here.

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    Originally posted by parafire81

    That's funny!!! I don't care who you are.

    At any rate, Forrest Gump or not, perhaps the local PD is lax in enforcing the traffic laws and this guy decided to do something about it. While it is a little disturbing that he used his blue light to pull people over, he never really caused any harm. He was doing what he thought in his mind was right and was trying to keep the roads safe. Maybe not the samrtest way of going about it....but

    Here's some food for thought. Ever reported a drunk driver, or called in someone who is driving 75 mph down the interstate while letting their 3 year old stand in the front seat unrestrained? Kinda the same thing...just slightly over the top.
    I hope this was a tongue-in-cheek post and I missed the sarcasm .

    If it wasn't, you've got to be kidding. Am I the only one that caught this part of the first paragraph:

    pulled over as many as 60 women drivers over a five-year period
    No mention at all of him stopping male drivers. This guy ain't out playing Barney Fife. If that were the case, he would be an equal opportunity impersonator.

    Unless there are unreported stops of male drivers, there's a sexual angle here. Maybe he would have never gone beyond this little power kick, but you never know. It would be interesting to see a more detailed demographic makeup of his 'traffic stops' to see if he preferred a particular age/race/hair color/etc.

    Here's a question for some of our fire investigators out there: Am I wrong or would it be a good idea to review any unsolved arson cases in this guy's area?

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    I hope this was a tongue-in-cheek post and I missed the sarcasm .
    YES! For the record I was being sarcastic. This is the most rediculous case I have ever heard of!

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    Default his iq is so low how did he get on the f.d.

    Does he have a medic cert?

    We are looking for medics and if he has his own car, it's in the bag baby!!!

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