Man arrested for claiming to be a Mountie: Cops

Jason Halstead QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:14 AM ET

WINNIPEG - A city man already before the courts on charges of impersonating a police officer has been charged for the offence again, this time north of the city.

East St. Paul RCMP were tipped off to the alleged impersonator when a member of the community came to the detachment Oct. 13 on an unrelated matter and asked in passing about a man who had claimed he was the detachment's commander and called himself Staff Sgt. Tom Hanna.

After informing the person that no officer by that name worked there, the detachment's actual commander, Sgt. Mike Van Kats, said Mounties were told the suspected phoney cop frequented the Royal Canadian Legion's Branch 215 in East St. Paul.

"We started an investigation to figure out who this fellow might be, but then last Friday he attended the legion once again and we had an opportunity to arrest him," Van Kats said.

RCMP took Thomas David Hanaway, 52, into custody at the legion without incident. Van Kats said Hanaway has been known to use the alias Tom Hanna.

Hanaway has been charged with two counts of impersonating a peace officer, two counts of breach of a recognizance and four counts of breach of probation.

It's not the first time Hanaway has been charged with impersonating a peace officer. Van Kats said the recognizance breaches relate to current charges against Hanaway by Winnipeg police for impersonating an officer. The breaches of probation are related to Hanway's former convictions for fraud, Van Kats said.

Van Kats said it's troubling to come across someone impersonating a Mountie.

"If people believed he was a RCMP member and he wasn't conducting himself in a proper manner, it comes back on us," he said.

Police executed a search warrant at Hanway's Winnipeg home and seized a variety of police paraphernalia, including uniform items.

Van Kats said Hanaway is alleged to have worn RCMP logos on his shirt and crests on his belt and is purported to have told people on numerous occasions that he was the detachment's commander.

"It was casual clothing, but he would have police logos on them," Van Kats said. "At no time was he seen wearing a uniform. It was always casual, but portraying himself as an RCMP member."

Van Kats said Hanaway has exhibited a strong fascination with law enforcement.

"We believe this played a major role in his life," the sergeant said.

Hanaway was remanded into police custody and was scheduled to appear Monday in provincial court in Winnipeg.

Van Kats said Hanaway has never been associated with RCMP.

Police are continuing to investigate.

jason.halstead@sunmedia.ca


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