SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 9, 2011

Cops: Man pretends to be brother

MIDDLETON — A Peabody man already in trouble for driving without a license tried to convince Middleton police that he was actually his older brother during a traffic stop Monday afternoon, police said.

Problem was, William Decotis bears only a slight resemblance to big brother Carl Decotis Jr., whose identification he tried to pass off as his own, police said.

Now William Decotis, 26, of 35 Hampshire St. is being held without bail, after a Salem District Court judge revoked his release in an earlier case, one of several pending cases he has in Essex and Middlesex counties.

William Decotis was at the wheel of a truck owned by his father, Carl Decotis Sr., around 3:30 p.m. as a Middleton patrolman was conducting traffic enforcement on Route 114.

When Patrolman Michael LeColst noticed a truck that was missing a front license plate, he approached and pulled it over.

The driver told the officer he didn't have his license on him. Then, a passenger, Mark Cottrell, 23, told the officer he had it and passed over a state identification card that belonged to Carl Decotis Jr.

When the officer told William Decotis that the photo did not look like him, Decotis offered an explanation: He had long hair when the photo was taken but had recently cut it.

The problem with that explanation: The photo showed a man with a shaved head.

Three other officers arrived for backup, and all four officers took a look at the picture and at Decotis and agreed that he was not Carl Jr.

When police spoke to Carl Sr., he told them that his son Carl Jr. had been using the truck. The officers asked the father to describe Carl Jr. — a description that did not fit the man behind the wheel.

Police also asked the driver his Social Security number. He claimed not to know it.

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