"Dumbass Award" : February 2010

Deportation by Proxy

SAN DIEGO – A Hemet man on Wednesday denied doing anything wrong after being arrested for posing as a U.S. Marshal to get through security at Lindbergh Field in order to deport his cousin’s pregnant wife.

“How can someone — anybody — just do that,” questions Craig Hibbard, who is in disbelief that his wife, Cherabelle — who’s five months pregnant — is now in the Philippines after being deported by his distant cousin, Greg Denny Jr..

A Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman says airport inspectors have specific rules in dealing with law enforcement but the 37-year-old Denny appeared to follow procedure, which is now under serious review.  TSA says one of their supervisors at Lindbergh has already been put through remedial training as a result of the incident.

Hemet police allege a Hemet man used this badge to help him pass himself off as a U.S. Marshal. (Hemet police photo)

Hibbard says he and his wife truly believed she was being arrested when Denny came to their door on January 15th, and that the stress is causing complications to her pregnancy as she’s now stuck in Manila.

But Greg Denny says he was only trying to help his relatives.  In a statement released through his attorney, he says he “understood Cherabelle Hibbard wanted to return to the Philippines” and that she “willingly made her way through the airport security, and on to her plane.”

But Hibbard suggests his cousin is in his own world.  “He wants everyone to believe he is in actual law enforcement and he wants the family to believe that.  I don’t know what kind of fantasy he has, but this is not the way to do it.”

Denny was wearing clothing with “Federal Agent” printed on it, had a badge around his neck, a gun belt, and displayed an apparent handgun when he showed up at Hibbard’s home.   Investigators confiscated two pellet guns from Denny, one of which they believe was used during the incident.

 
Hemet police allege that Gregory Denny used some of these items to pass himself as a U.S. Marshal. (Photo courtesy of Hemet Police)

Denny handcuffed Cherabelle and said he was detaining her and deporting the woman. She was taken to Hibbard’s vehicle and then allegedly driven to the U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta. Officials at the Border Patrol office told Denny he would not take Denny’s “prisoner” because there was no warrant in the computer system. Denny told Hemet investigators that officers at the Border Patrol office confirmed the woman was in the country illegally but they would not take her into custody.

Hemet investigators were then told that Denny ultimately drove Cherabelle to the International Airport, where he escorted the handcuffed victim through the airport and to the gate of a departing flight. At this point he un-handcuffed his cousin’s wife and she boarded the plane that was headed to the Philippines.

Denny was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, impersonating a peace officer and several other charges.
 
Denny says it’s just a “family misunderstanding,” and that he looks forward to the facts coming out during the investigation.

He is presently free on bond.

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About Chase Morgan
Chase Morgan is just your average, ordinary All-American writer. Chase began writing several years ago, but never published anything until the "Are You Friggen' Kidding Me?" blog launched in August of 2009. Chase simply got tired of standing around and just observing all of the craziness in the world, so this anxious writer sat down and wrote the first "Are YOu Friggen' Kidding Me?" article on August 19th, 2009. Now, any time something makes Chase say, "Are You Friggen' Kidding Me?", the issue get's transformed into an article. Chase is currently single, homeless and living under a bridge in South Florida.

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