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12-228 Man Arrested For Impersonating a Police Officer After Flashing Gun And Badge At Local Restaurant For Free Food

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau

Joseph E. Pineda (Arrested)
DOB: 07/30/1979
Address: 4015 73rd Street N., Pinellas Park
Arrested for Impersonating a Police Officer and improper exhibition of a firearm.

Jeremy Schaeffer (McDonald’s Employee)
DOB: 05/12/1985
Address: Not Available at this time.

Tyrone Crouse (McDonald’s Employee)
DOB: 08/18/1971
Address: 1616 58th Street North, St. Petersburg

What:
Deputies have arrested a Pinellas Park man for impersonating a police officer after he flashed a gun and badge at the drive thru at McDonald’s in an attempt to get free food.

When:
The incident occurred at about 1:43 p.m. on Friday, October 5, 2012.

Where:
The crime occurred at the drive thru of the McDonald’s located at 5464 66th Street North in St. Petersburg.

Why/How:
According to deputies, the suspect later identified as 33-year-old Joseph E. Pineda placed his order at the drive thru speaker. When the employee, 27-year old Jeremy Schaeffer, told him through the PA how much his order would cost, Pineda said he was a law enforcement officer, did not have his wallet with him and wanted his food free of charge.

Deputies say, when Pineda pulled around to the window, he told the manager, 41-year-old Tyrone Crouse, the same story. Pineda repeated he was a police officer and added he had just come from a sting and did not have his wallet. Pineda then flashed his badge and showed a gun to Crouse.

Employees called 911. Deputies responded to the scene and made contact with Pineda, who was still inside his vehicle and had pulled forward at the drive thru lane. Deputies issued verbal commands for the suspect to show his hands and he did not comply. Deputies then challenged the subject at gunpoint, at which time he put his hands out of the window. Pineda was ordered out of the vehicle and was taken into custody. Deputies were able secure the vehicle and located two badges and the gun, (a 45 caliber) in the center console. Pineda also had a holster on his person.

Deputies arrested Pineda for felony impersonating a police officer and a misdemeanor charge of improper exhibition of a firearm.

The investigation continues.

 Joseph E. Pineda

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