MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A man who recently pleaded guilty to faking his own death is in trouble again – this time for impersonating a police officer and trying to kidnap women in Nassau County.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported Wednesday, Raymond Roth, 48, of Long Beach, is also charged in an attempted kidnapping incident this past Thursday night in Freeport.
The first incident in which Roth was charged happened near the train station in Freeport on March 16. Roth pulled up to a woman in his white van and demanded that she get inside, police said.
The woman refused, prompting Roth to tell her he was a police officer and that he would arrest her if she did not do as he ordered, police said.
This past Thursday, Nassau County police detectives said a woman was walking down Church Street at Main Street in Freeport, and Roth repeatedly yelled at her to get into a minivan he was driving.
The woman kept walking and ignored Roth, but he once again said he was a police officer and threatened to arrest her, police said.
The woman then ran into the PLS Check Cashing business at 10 E. Sunrise Highway, but Roth allegedly followed her in and demanded the employees open the security door.
Roth again claimed he was a police officer, but the employees responded by calling the real police.
Roth fled, but was later arrested and charged with criminal impersonation, attempted kidnapping and attempted burglary.
This wasn’t the first time Roth made headlines for a crime of deception. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges after faking his own death last summer in an alleged scheme to collect on life insurance policies.
Under the terms of the plea deal in the earlier crime, Roth agreed to serve 90 days in jail and five years of probation, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced. In addition, Roth must pay restitution to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Nassau County Police for the search efforts, totaling nearly $37,000.
Former neighbor Gloria Gelardi told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez she could not believe Roth is in trouble with the law again.
“I’m shocked,” she said. “I’m shocked.”
Gelardi said Roth’s alleged acts were beyond normal.
“It just shows that he’s really gone,” Gelardi said. “Why would he do such a thing like that? It’s not a normal thing.”
Roth was not serving his jail time when he was allegedly caught pretending to being a police officer, because he convinced a judge to delay his 90-day sentence so he could finish culinary school.
Roth’s attorney claimed his client was depressed and needs help.
“You heard that he spent two weeks at South Nassau Hospital. It wasn’t a ruse that I concocted for sympathy, or as a defense. He needed treatment,” said attorney Brian Davis. “There was a suicide attempt while he was in there.”
CBS 2’s Sanchez spoke briefly to Roth’s estranged wife Wednesday night. She said she was stunned by Roth’s arrest, and will release a statement about it on Thursday.
In the earlier scheme, prosecutors said Roth was reported missing by his 22-year-old son, Jonathan Roth, in a frantic 911 call that said his father had disappeared in the waters off Jones Beach on July 28 of last year.
That 911 call triggered an intense air and water search that cost tens of thousands of dollars. While no one actually saw Raymond Roth swim away, the Massapequa man was initially presumed drowned.
But prosecutors said while friends, neighbors and authorities searched high and low for Roth, he was really on his way to a timeshare at West Gate Lake Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Prosecutors said that Roth and his son hatched the scheme to fake the elder Roth’s death in hopes of cashing in at least $410,000 in life insurance policies.
Prosecutors said the pair’s plan was for Jonathan Roth to try to file a claim on July 31 of last year.
The alleged plot was discovered when prosecutors said Roth’s wife, Evana, stumbled on emails between father and son discussing details of the plan.
The younger Roth was later arrested and charged in connection with the case. He pleaded not guilty to insurance fraud, conspiracy and falsely reporting an incident and was freed on bail.
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