Man arrested after claiming to be former NFL player
The Aspen Times
A 25-year-old man attempted to usurp the identity of a well-known former NFL receiver Friday in a bid to purchase more than $18,000 worth of merchandise from Louis Vuitton in downtown Aspen, police said in court documents.
Mervin Cabe of Miami told employees at the high-end luxury goods store that he was Chad Johnson — who is formerly known as Chad Ochocinco — in order to be able to make the purchase. Customers at Louis Vuitton must have a “profile ID” in order for their transactions to go through, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
Cabe could not come up with the matching phone number to Chad Johnson’s profile ID, though an employee did allow him to purchase $18,548 worth of items. Cabe initially tried to use a credit card that was twice declined to make the purchase, then pulled up an Apple Pay account on his cellphone, which worked, the affidavit states.
Cabe also told Aspen police officers he was Chad Johnson, though he gave them a date of birth different from the former football player’s, the affidavit states. He also declined to show them the Apple Pay account and credit card number he used to purchase the items.
Officers described his behavior as “highly evasive” and said he “kept making excuses and repeating the same nonsensical story,” according to the affidavit.
However, he finally asked to speak with a sergeant on scene, who later said Cabe told him, “You’re going to have to take me … to jail. I’ve done something bad,” the affidavit states.
Police later checked a database and discovered Chad Johnson’s identity and that he does live in Miami.
“More internet research showed that Chad Javon Johnson … is an ex-NFL player and known to shop for and wear Louis Vuitton merchandise,” according to the affidavit.
Cabe was charged with identity theft and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, both felonies.
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Ron Braden, the town of Vail’s former IT director, was a no-show in district court Thursday morning for preliminary hearings and first appearances in multiple criminal cases against him.