ATLANTA Ga. May 30 2008
Police said a man posing as an emergency room doctor, even fooling his wife, was arrested last week at Piedmont Hospital.
“He told me he was a doctor as well as an electrical engineer,” Tammi Perteet said. I believed him. There was no reason not to she told area reporters.
Tammi said Eric Perteet seemed like a dream come true: a handsome, smart doctor.
They met in a club last November.
He confided in Tammi Perteet about his painful past, she said. His parents and two kids, he said, were killed in a Chicago car crash.
“And my heart just immediately opened up to him because of the tragedies he suffered,” said Tammi Perteet.
He told her he gave up medicine and came to Atlanta to get away. They married in March, honeymooning in the Bahamas.
“It was very surprising on our honeymoon that he told me he was going back into medicine and he was going to start immediately,” said Tammi Perteet.
He said he was starting at the Piedmont Hospital emergency room.
“Every morning I would drop him off at the hospital,” said Tammi Perteet.
She said that from March through May, her husband called every hour or so from the hospital — at least he said — telling her about his tough day.
“To tell me he lost a patient, [or] you know, he almost lost a patient,” said Tammi Perteet.
When he didn’t call one night last week, she got worried and called the E.R. To her surprise, the people there had never heard of him.
“I was thinking maybe the nurses do not know all the doctors,” said Tammi Perteet.
So she called him on his Piedmont cell phone, the one he told her was for emergencies. A staff member picked up.
“I said, ‘I’m trying to locate my husband, Dr. Perteet.’ And she said, ‘Dr. who? We don’t have a Dr. Perteet.’ And she says, ‘Are you talking about the guy that had this cell phone?’ And I said ‘yes.’ And she says, ‘Oh, he was arrested last night for impersonating a doctor,’” Tammi Perteet said.
Perteet was arrested and booked into the Fulton County Jail on charges of identity fraud, receiving stolen property, and credit card theft.
He was found at the hospital with a stolen Piedmont security badge and a vial of medicine.
“I was told [by Piedmont Hospital] at the time he was arrested, he and a nurse were taking a patient from the emergency room into intensive care,” said Tammi Perteet.
Tammi Perteet has talked to him three times since he has been in jail and has even visited him. Still, he maintains his story. He still says he is a doctor and talks about going to work.
Piedmont Hospital told Channel 2 that there was no evidence that Perteet ever came into contact with patients. It said it is cooperating with police and has systems in place to provide a safe and secure environment.
As for the stolen badge, it said a doctor reported it missing and it was deactivated.
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