Police in St. Cloud, Minnesota are investigating Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 53, an uninsured man who claimed to be Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour as he was running up medical bills in the low six figures at a local hospital. Schaeffer was booked on April 24 at the Stearns County Jail for investigation of felony theft by swindle.
Schaeffer went to St. Cloud Hospital on April 20 for treatment and gave the name David Gilmour when he checked in. He claimed to not have any health insurance and was treated and released. After he left, hospital employees had suspicions that he wasn’t really the Pink Floyd singer-guitarist. That suspicion led to the hospital flagging his patient chart in case he returned, hospital spokeswoman Jeanine Nistler said. The next day, “there was some discussion among security staff leading people to believe that he really wasn’t David Gilmour,” Nistler said.
“So our security supervisor pulled up the security camera shots of when this man entered the hospital and compared them to pictures on the Internet of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and determined he was not David Gilmour.”
Schaeffer came back to the hospital on April 24, told hospital staff he was David Gilmour and presented information that showed he had health insurance from Lloyd’s of London. He told hospital staff that Pink Floyd was on tour in Canada and that he stopped in St. Cloud during a break to get medical treatment.
He was seen by Dr. David Covington, an emergency room physician who works for Central Minnesota Emergency Physicians. Covington doubted that Schaeffer’s accent was one that he would expect from Gilmour. A security supervisor then went to the emergency room and saw a police officer who was there on an unrelated manner. The security supervisor told the officer about the Gilmour impersonator and the officer confronted Schaeffer. He then admitted he wasn’t Gilmour and was taken to jail. Schaeffer was later released from jail while police gather evidence to present to the county attorney’s office for possible charges.
I have a great deal of sympathy for anyone who doesn’t have health insurance, and who needs medical treatment, but this is ridiculous on the face of it. Why pick DAVID GILMOUR?
Couldn’t Schaeffer have claimed to be another member of the rock pantheon who he’d be less likely to be caught impersonating? Ringo Starr? Neil Young, maybe? The lead singer from Canned Heat? Billy Joel? Billy Idol??? Or AT LEAST he could have tried a freakin’ British accent?
Shine on you batshit diamond!