At first, a Philadelphia man succeeded in convincing local officials he was someone else – namely, his cousin.
He told a Colonial Regional police officer who detained him outside a Lower Nazareth supermarket Saturday morning he was Ali Harry Johnson and is wanted on a warrant issued out of Fountain Hill.
The Lehigh County Sheriff’s Department picked him up, took him to central booking in Allentown and booked him under the name Ali Harry Johnson.
That was before he was fingerprinted.
The Colonial Regional officer later got a call from a sheriff’s deputy. The man in custody is not Ali Harry Johnson, he said, but Quinn Antonio Ball, who’s wanted on warrants out of Philadelphia.
Yes, Johnson and Ball are indeed cousins. And both live in Philadelphia’s Northeast section. Johnson is 25 and Ball is 24. And both now face the same charge – false identification to law enforcement authorities.
According to a criminal complaint:
Colonial Regional Patrolman Keith D. Kulp encountered Ball around 11:35 Saturday morning outside the Giant supermarket on Route 191 south of Route 248.
A man told police two men entered his car and asked for a ride. The man fled the car and called police.
Ball was in the front passenger seat. The complaint says nothing more about the other man. Ball had no identification but identified himself as Johnson.
After Ball was taken to Allentown and his fingerprints revealed his true identity, a central booking official confronted him. Ball admitted to lying about his identity because he has warrants pending on him out of Philadelphia.
Kulp said he would get a warrant for Ball because if Ball is released in Philadelphia, Kulp believes he will try to avoid prosecution for the Lower Nazareth charge – just as he used his cousin’s identity to avoid prosecution.
Ball, who lives on Tackawanna Street in the Wissinoming section of Northeast Philadelphia, was arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail.
According to online court records, Ali Harry Johnson’s case in Lehigh County Court is listed as “inactive.” The false identification charge was held for court Oct. 10 before District Judge Michael Pochron of Salisbury Township, the records say.
Records pertaining to his status in Lehigh County Court say Johnson did not attend his preliminary hearing.