Let's Pretend

When Brett Andrews Allen, the subject of "The Impersonator," appeared in Denver District Court yesterday, he was alone. His mother, who'd declined to be interviewed for the story, didn't show up — but Allen didn't seem surprised. He says his mom is terrified of the cameras and swarms of reporters that a sensational crime can bring out. But there was only me — and I'd even forgotten to bring my notepad.

In a deal with prosecutors, Brett pled guilty to criminal impersonation, a class six felony. If it were his first offense, he might be eligible for time-served and probation. But with his record of fakery, the judge could impose a sentence of up to ten years on October 19.

But in a way, the real sentence was handed down back in July, when Allen was arrested while wearing an EMT uniform -- and was attended to by the very paramedics he'd tried to impersonate. He realized then that he could never be one of them, one of the good guys. Instead, he would be treated just like the criminal he'd become.

From jail, he had this to saw about the story:

Hey, it's Brett. I just want to tell you wow!!! I never expected to be on the front page of Westword!! I didn't think it was going to be such a big deal in the paper. The artwork was great. Didn't like the mug shots!! It got around to other inmates in the jail, and of course the jail/guards moved me again to a red jumpsuit and 23-hour lockdown now because of the ordeal/paper, so I wouldn't get beat up or anything. The Denver County Jail takes that thing kind of seriously. My mom got the paper and of course she was mad and more disappointed in me, but it's OK!! I finally got a piece of paper and a stamp and envelope from a guy in here. He's up for a murder charge. Nice guy, never would even think he killed somebody.

But who knows why nice guys do what they do? — Jared Jacang Maher

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun