Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Public safety

Police: Man pretending to be a cop demands free meal at McDonald's

ST. PETERSBURG — Joseph Pineda demanded a free meal Friday afternoon when he pulled up to a McDonald's drive-through window. He was entitled to it, he told restaurant employees, because he was a cop, Pinellas sheriff's deputies said.

But the employees and a manager at the McDonald's on 5464 66th Street N didn't believe him, even after Pineda showed them a badge and gun. He had just come from a sting, he told them, and didn't have his wallet, deputies said. He continued to demand that his food should be free.

That's when employees called the real police, who arrested Pineda, 33, on charges of impersonating a police officer and improper exhibition of a firearm.

Pineda surrendered at gunpoint after initially ignoring commands from the arriving deputies to show his hands. Inside his car, officers found two fake police badges and a real .45 caliber handgun in the center console.

Pineda, of Pinellas Park, was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,500 bail.

Times staff

Comments
St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

St. Petersburg police sergeant demoted after throwing bullet at fellow officer

ST. PETERSBURG — A long-tenured St. Petersburg police sergeant and executive vice president of the local police union is being demoted to the rank of officer after he threw a bullet at another sergeant while on duty, the department said Wednesday.Jam...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Thefts from cell towers in Ruskin, Gibsonton interrupt service, deputies say

Thefts from cell towers in Ruskin, Gibsonton interrupt service, deputies say

Lost phone signal recently?The culprit might be a Ruskin man who stole thousands of dollars of equipment that had powered Verizon and T-Mobile towers, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The theft interrupted cell tower signals on ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Train strikes stalled semi, out spills frozen chicken, beef and fish

LAKELAND — Residents got some frozen treats the hard way Wednesday morning, hours after a CSX train struck a semitrailer truck, splitting it in half and spilling its load of frozen beef, chicken and fish onto the roadway.The train was traveling from ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Highlands County students hurt when semi hits school bus

Four Highlands County school children and their bus driver were injured Wednesday morning when their school bus was struck by a semitrailer truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place just before 8 a.m. on U.S. 27 and Lake Pla...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman, 54, killed while walking across U.S. 19 in Hudson

HUDSON — A 54-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car while crossing U.S. 19 on Tuesday evening, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 6:10 p.m.Patricia Lynn Pla was walking east across northbound U.S. 19 near Ba...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff to announce findings of excessive force investigation

Pinellas sheriff to announce findings of excessive force investigation

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will announce Wednesday the findings of an internal investigation sparked by dashboard camera video that appears to show deputies beating, choking and yanking the hair of a 25-year-old man during an arrest.Gualti...
Updated: 6 hours ago

St. Petersburg police make several arrests in death of woman, 22, found in alley

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have made a series of arrests in connection to the death investigation of a 22-year-old woman whose body was found in alley last December.Investigators said over the course of the last year they learned that the woman, Taylor ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
St. Pete losing two assistant police chiefs; one will join Rays

St. Pete losing two assistant police chiefs; one will join Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Two assistant police chiefs are stepping down next month, leaving two of the three second-in-command jobs vacant at the St. Petersburg Police Department.Assistant Chief Jim Previtera announced this week that he will resign from the d...
Published: 12/12/17

Tampa forum focuses on reforming Florida’s juvenile justice system

TAMPA — Changing the way Florida treats juvenile offenders was the focus of Monday night’s forum on criminal justice reform."We send more children to adult prison than any other state," said Raymer Maguire IV, manager of the ACLU’s Florida Campaign f...
Published: 12/12/17
Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

TAMPA — A 24-year-old aide at Buchanan Middle School was arrested Monday and charged with using Instagram to ask for sex and nude photos from female students at the school, deputies said.Between Sept. 1 and the time of his arrest, Quinton J. Bradford...
Published: 12/12/17