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Police: Cop impersonator demanded free fast food

Published October 6, 2012 11:26 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

St. Petersburg, Fla. • Authorities in Florida say a man flashed a fake gun and badge and demanded free fast food at a McDonald's drive-thru.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies say Joseph Pineda told employees Friday that he deserved free food, had just come from a sting and didn't have his wallet.

Workers called the police. Pineda initially ignored commands to show his hands but eventually surrendered at gunpoint.

Authorities said they found two fake police badges and a handgun in the center console of his car.

The 33-year-old was charged with impersonating a police officer and improper exhibition of a firearm.

He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail. Online jail records did not indicate whether he had an attorney.