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Man poses as trooper to keep girl from leaving

Posted at 1:34 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 20:37:46-04

A Tempe man is accused of impersonating a Michigan state trooper in order to prevent a woman from flying away.

Court records show that on April 25 a Tempe man went to Sky Harbor Airport, telling airline officials that he was a police officer trying get a woman taken off a plane to Australia by accusing her of having explosives.

Police say that 37-year-old Richard Todd Marshbanks went to the American Airlines ticket counter asking for a woman to be taken off a flight to Sydney, Australia. 

When police were called, they say that Marshbanks identified himself as a Michigan State Trooper and said the woman was involved in a prostitution and smuggling ring.

Phoenix police reportedly told him they couldn't take the woman off the plane without a warrant.

Marshbanks told them his partner was bringing the paperwork to the airport.

Marshbanks reportedly called the officer a few minutes later, saying his partner would be there soon and the woman also may have explosives on her.

The officer tried to meet up with Marshbanks but he had left the airport.

Marshbanks was found and arrested in Tempe on May 3rd. He allegedly told police that he was trying to keep the woman from leaving him and leaving the country.

He is facing two counts of impersonating an officer.