Tucson man passed himself off as an orthopedic surgeon
DPS detectives are hoping to hear from unwitting victims of Dr. Anthony Pena, a man arrested last week on charges of criminal impersonation and providing false information to an officer. The man’s real name is Joshua Abeyta.
The incident began after Abeyta, identifying himself as a physician, asked a Highway Patrol officer for directions to a hospital in Coolidge. There is no hospital in the Coolidge so the officer immediately became suspicious of Abeyta who was dressed in hospital scrubs, wore a stethoscope around his neck and had the name of Dr. Anthony Pena embroidered on his clothes.
Abeyta was driving a beat-up 2000 Ford Expedition that was registered to his girlfriend in Tucson. A search of the vehicle turned up ziplock baggies containing various pills and a narcotic prescription to another individual. There was also a bag containing medical equipment.
Abeyta told the officer he did orthopedic surgery at the Scottsdale Hospital and worked at the VA Hospital in Tucson. Abeyta had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest and his drivers license had been suspended. A check with the VA hospital in Tucson found that Abeyta had been caught in a secure area and had tried to pass himself off as an orthopedic surgeon. Hospital security has been trying to locate Abeyta.
His girlfriend believed Abeyta was a physician saying that her boyfriend had given friends pain medication when they were ill. A search of her apartment turned up documents indicating Abeyta was currently trying to purchase two residences and one vehicle. Detectives found another set of hospital scrubs at his apartment. The suspect did admit that he was formerly employed at a copper mine.
If you have come into contact with “Dr. Anthony Pena,” please call DPS at (602) 223-2212