A Michigan teenager wanted really badly to be Facebook friends with Hooters waitresses, so he impersonated a cop in order to get their contact info, according to a criminal complaint. Now, he’s facing up to eight years in prison on felony charges of impersonating a police officer.
As the Saginaw News reports, 18-year-old Nicholas M. Fuhst got it in his head that he wanted to be Facebook friends with waitresses at the Hooters in Saginaw, Michigan. For reasons that aren’t clear, he figured the best way to do that would be to impersonate an undercover cop.
Police say that on May 12, Fuhst went to a Saginaw Hooters location, sat down at the bar, and told employees he was an undercover cop, according to WTVG (Toledo). He allegedly convinced the employee that he was undercover and was looking for suspects in an unspecified crime. An employee bought his story and wrote down a list of employees’ names. He then left the restaurant — on a skateboard — but came back a short time later. Fuhst had crossed off most of the names on the list but had circled two, and he asked for more information about those two employees. It was then that employees became suspicious and called the real cops.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Boyd says the teenager wanted to be Facebook friends.
“He indicated that he went to Hooters because he wanted to talk to the girls to see if they would be friends on Facebook.”
As it turns out, Fuhst may have had more than just friendship on his mind. When cops turned up to arrest him, they searched his backpack and found zip-ties, lighter fluid, and knives, according to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Albosta.
“I think there were some dark thoughts going through his mind.”
In addition to probation violations, Fuhst was charged with felony impersonating a police officer and misdemeanor charges of disturbing workers.
Even before his Hooters arrest, Fuhst had put together a rather impressive rap sheet. At the time of his arrest, he was already wanted for having skipped out on probation on unrelated arson and destruction of personal property charges. He had been living at a halfway house that allowed low-level offenders to serve time there instead of in prison; prosecutors say it was the second time he had skipped out on probation in his criminal career. He also had juvenile charges of felony sexual misconduct on his record.
Last week, Fuhst pleaded no contest to felony charges of impersonating a police officer. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but a declaration that the defendant will not contest the criminal charges against him or her. In Fuhst’s case, the no contest plea allows him to avoid facing civil liability for his actions at Hooters.
Chief Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard will have the duty of deciding what kind of sentence Fuhst should serve. By Michigan sentencing guidelines, he can be sentenced to between zero months to 13 months or zero months to 25 months. Since Fuhst is a third-time habitual offender, Borchard will have to double Fuhst’s sentence, meaning he could spend as much as eight years in prison.
Back at the Saginaw Hooters, regional manager Jolyn Hollingsworth declined to comment specifically on the Fuhst incident but instead issued a general statement.
“The safety and security of all of our employees is our top priority for us in the restaurant.”
HEY EVERYBODY IF YOU AREN’T DOING ANYTHING YOU SHOULD COME OUT TO HOOTERS OF SAGINAW! I’ll bring the music!!! pic.twitter.com/oY7NLjzYny
— Austin (@Austin_Rogerss) June 2, 2016
Nicholas Fuhst remains jailed without bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced for impersonating a police officer at Hooters on September 8.
[AP Photo/Matt York]