HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Police say a Ukrainian man who masqueraded as a Harrisburg High School student also lied on an application for Swatara Township’s citizen’s police academy.
Artur Samarin, 23, was arraigned Monday on additional charges of identity theft and unsworn falsification to authorities.
Swatara Township police said Samarin used a falsified Pennsylvania driver’s license and Social Security number when he applied to the academy in January.
They said Samarin attended three academy classes before Harrisburg police alerted them to his true identity.
“He is an affable young man and he did do well in the citizen’s police academy the first three times he attended,” Swatara police Chief Jason Umberger said.
Samarin, who went by the name “Asher Potts,” was arrested last week on charges including false identification, identity theft, tampering with public records, and conspiracy.
Police said he used falsified documents to enroll as a freshman at the high school in 2012. He became a member of the National Honor Society, joined the school’s ROTC and Naval Sea Cadet programs, and was actively involved in community service until his arrest just four months from graduation.
Harrisburg police on Friday said Samarin had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student in 2014, when he was 22 years old, and filed additional counts of statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors.
Samarin spoke to ABC27 News before his arraignment Monday. When asked if he had anything to say to the people he lied to, he said, “my deepest apologies. I Just want to have a better life.”
“To Americans, you have a lot of opportunities. Take those opportunities because I didn’t have a chance. You do. You have a chance to succeed in this life, you were born here,” he said.
Additional arrests are expected. Court documents state that Michael Potts and Stephayne McClure-Potts helped Samarin obtain the falsified driver’s license and enroll at the school, but they have not been charged.