03/10/2006

Pa.: Student auxiliary police charged in prank

By Pete Bosak
Two Penn State students who are auxiliary police officers face charges stemming from what university police say was a prank they pulled on another student.

Corey P. Thompson, 20, of Erie, is charged with impersonating a public servant and the purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages stemming from the Feb. 28 incident. Michael D. Strafford, 19, also of Erie, is charged with possession of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The incident began at 1 a.m. when a student in Hamilton Hall opened his door to Thompson, who had knocked and identified himself as university police, a criminal complaint states. Thompson, a student employed by university police as an auxiliary officer, was in uniform because he was assigned to a ticketing detail at the time, police said.

Thompson told the student he had a report of underage drinking inside the apartment and began searching the premises, police said. When he found alcoholic beverages, the student told Thompson they belonged to his roommate -- Strafford, who is also an auxiliary officer.

Strafford then walked into the room and revealed the whole incident was a prank, police said.

The two auxiliary police officers then grabbed two cans of beer and drank them, police said.

When questioned by University Police Strafford and Thompson confessed to both the prank and drinking underage, court documents indicate.

 State College Centre Daily Times (http://www.centredaily.com/)

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