Sorry, Mervin Cabe: Even White People Can Tell You're Not Chad Johnson

Chad Johnson and Mervin Cabe: not exactly identical twins.
Chad Johnson and Mervin Cabe: not exactly identical twins.
NFL/Aspen Police Department
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One of the many stinging jokes in season one of the excellent Netflix series Dear White People involves college journalist Lionel Higgins, played by DeRon Horton, discovering that he can use a fake ID with a photo that looks nothing like him because Caucasians can't tell black men apart. But Mervin Cabe wasn't so lucky. He was recently busted in Aspen, one of the whitest places on the planet even when there's no snow on the ground, after unsuccessfully impersonating former NFL player Chad Johnson, whom he doesn't resemble in the slightest.

Cabe doesn't have to impersonate our latest Schmuck of the Week, though. Because he is that schmuck.

The story told in a police report accessed by the Aspen Daily News boasts the perfect locale for this particular identity-theft super-fail: a Louis Vuitton store.

On Friday, July 14, Cabe, who's from Florida, allegedly popped into the joint, grabbed $18,548 worth of items and tried to pay for them by way of an Apple Pay account on his cell phone — and the transaction was initially approved.

But he ran into trouble when an employee asked for Cabe's profile ID, per store policy.

That's when Cabe announced — "seemingly at random," the report says — that he was Chad Johnson, aka Chad Ochocinco, a former NFL receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Louis Vuitton store in Aspen.
The Louis Vuitton store in Aspen.
Google Maps

Terrible choice. After all, Johnson, though he was last part of an NFL team in 2012 (more recently, he played in Canada and Mexico), has remained in the public eye via appearances on ESPN and assorted dumbassery, like tweeting a joke about going to jail years earlier for domestic violence. And even if Cabe, 25, wasn't more than twelve years younger than Johnson, he has plenty of hair, while Johnson's shaved pate is his visual signature.

Granted, Cabe lucked out in one respect: Johnson was indeed in the Louis Vuitton system, having purchased the brand's products in the past. He's said to have pointed at the Johnson entry on the staffer's computer screen and claimed, "Yeah, that's the one, Chad Johnson. That's me."

He would have been more convincing had his telephone number matched the one on Johnson's Louis Vuitton profile. But it didn't, so the employee called the cops, then went through the motions of completing the purchase until two of them arrived.

At first, Cabe attempted to keep up the ruse, with embarrassing results. According to one officer's account, "Cabe still couldn’t produce Apple Pay information. I then asked Cabe to produce the actual credit card in which the Apple Pay account was linked. He said this card was in his friend’s truck and he didn’t know where the friend was at the time. I told him to call his friend and have him come over. He made a call, but the friend never showed up."

Finally, Cabe sidled up to another cop and said, "You're going to have to take me home...to jail.... I've done something bad."

True enough. Cabe was busted on two charges, including identity theft. He's scheduled to make his next court appearance on August 7.

If he doesn't feel like being himself again, he could ways try using a fake ID....

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