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Alleged imposter nabbed at photo op

UPI News Service, 08/20/2006 

A New York teenager who has wormed his way into celebrity photo ops has been accused of posing as a reporter assigned to interview baseball's Mike Piazza.

The New York Daily News said 18-year old Ryan Leli of Head of the Harbor, Long Island, allegedly posed as a TV reporter at Shea Stadium Aug. 10 in order to score a photo op with Piazza, Leli's idol.

The teen made it into the locker room to ask some post game questions, the report said. When Leli allegedly asked Piazza to pose with him for a photograph, a man believed to be a bodyguard intervened, bouncing the imposter away from the San Diego Padres catcher, the Daily News said.

Leli was charged with petty larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal impersonation and trespassing.

He could get up to seven years if convicted, the newspaper said.

Leli, an aspiring actor, has been successful in the past, the Daily News said. His profile shows him next to A-list stars like Jennifer Lopez, Pamela Anderson, Kanye West, P. Diddy and Tom Cruise.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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