Man arrested for impersonating officer at Merced hospital

A 26-year-old man was arrested Monday after he arrived at the hospital with an injured ankle -- and claimed he was an undercover officer with the Merced Police Department.

Merced police investigators, however, said the man was lying.

Cmdr. Floyd Higdon said the suspect, 26-year-old Matthew Story, told Mercy Medical Center Merced staff that he'd hurt his ankle while chasing a suspect. Story also said the hurt ankle constituted a job injury claim. Hospital staff contacted police to confirm the man's claim -- when the truth was revealed, Higdon said.

Officer Nathan McKinnon arrived at the hospital and spoke to Story -- who denied telling hospital staff that it was a job injury, although he acknowledged saying that he was an undercover officer. Story eventually acknowledged that he had "messed up," by trying to make the false claim.

He was treated for a sprained ankle and booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of impersonating a police officer.

Story remains at the John Latorraca Correctional Center in lieu of $10,000 bail.

-- Victor A. Patton