Cleveland man caught posing as a law-enforcement officer

CLEVELAND – A man who wore a police badge and uniform was exposed as a fraud thanks to an exclusive Action News investigation.

Tom Meyer, The Investigator, caught Thomas Colagrossi masquerading as a police officer and sheriff's deputy.

"This is bad," Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul said. "This is frightening."

Colagrossi (pictured, above) is accused of coming to a house on West 31st Street. He told Elizabeth Rivera that he was a police officer and wanted information about her neighbor.

In a police report that Action News obtained, Colagrossi allegedly said that he was going to kill his ex-girlfriend's husband.

Cuyahoga County sheriff detectives arrested him for carrying a loaded handgun.

"(He had) no right to carry it, no need to carry it," McFaul said.

When Colagrossi was arrested, detectives found a corrections officer's ID card, knives, handcuffs, a handgun, bullets, pepper spray, a hatchet, a deputy sheriff's hat, a Cleveland Police shirt and a police bulletproof vest.

Colagrossi had worked as a Cuyahoga County jail guard before he was fired.

"No, he was not a good employee," McFaul said.

Colagrossi landed a job as a security guard at the Northern Ohio Food Terminal. He lasted only two weeks before his boss, operations manager Joe Vincek, fired him.

"Mr. Colagrossi is not a team player," Vincek said. "He just wasn't fitting in with the rest of the officers."

Colagrossi, who could not be reached for comment, had not yet been charged and was free on the streets. The sheriff's investigation was still underway.

Sheriff detectives told Action News that they've received a number of complaints about Colagrossi impersonating an officer. They encourage you to call them if you can help with the investigation.