Playing High School Again — At 22
Texas basketball star poses as 16-year-old
May 14, 2010Sometimes, assuming a false identity isn't about theft.
Sometimes, it's about basketball.
Police in Texas leveled various charges this week against a 22-year-old man who took a false name and for more than a year posed as a 15-year-old, then a 16-year-old, and starred on his high school's basketball team.
Police identified the man as Guerdwich Montimere, a 22-year-old naturalized citizen from Haiti, who was posing as 16-year-old sophomore Jerry Joseph at Permian High School in Odessa, Tex., according to an article in the Odessa (Tex.) American, which first reported the strange story.
Authorities said Montimere, 22, claimed to be Joseph, a 15-year-old living with his half-brother, when he enrolled at Odessa's Nimitz Junior High in February 2009. Montimere claimed to have been born a Haitian orphan.
But the man he was living with was actually a former teammate at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where in 2007 Montimere had led the basketball team to the Class 5A state semifinal basketball game.
After Dillard, Montimere apparently moved to Illinois, then back to Florida, before showing up in Odessa.
Montimere was first arrested and jailed briefly on May 11, on charges of presenting false identification to a peace officer. He was arrested again on Thursday and charged with tampering with governmental records, a third-degree felony, according to a later Odessa American report.
An affidavit for the arrest says Montimere presented school officials a forged birth certificate in February 2009 when he enrolled at the Odessa Junior High.
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