BROOKSVILLE — For five months, Christopher Alexander Sharp kept the charade going, authorities say.
From about August of last year to early January, the 37-year-old Spring Hill resident told his girlfriend he was a Pasco County sheriff's deputy, investigators say. He would come home in uniform and regale the woman, her family and friends with stories of what had happened on his shift.
But Sharp was a driver at a Spring Hill Pizza Hut and stole the uniform and badge from his sister's boyfriend, a real Pasco deputy, investigators say.
Sharp was arrested Friday and charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer. He was released later that day after posting $2,000 bail, records show.
Sharp admitted that he lied in an effort to impress his girlfriend, according to the Hernando Sheriff's Office.
"These people assumed the information was legitimate as Sharp said he was a deputy sheriff and was often seen wearing an official uniform shirt," spokeswoman Denise Moloney said.
Sharp would stop on his way home from Pizza Hut and change into the deputy's shirt and badge, along with a pair of Army pants that were the same color as the shirt.
He attended a New Year's Eve party in Hernando Beach wearing the outfit and told guests about a DUI patrol he had conducted earlier that evening, the Sheriff's Office said.
On several occasions, investigators said, Sharp showed up at the bar where his girlfriend worked and offered legal advice to patrons. He was wearing civilian clothes but identified himself as a deputy sheriff.
Sharp told detectives that he never pretended to be a deputy to anyone but his girlfriend, her family and friends. He said he never tried to pull anyone over or have other contact with residents. One witness claims to have seen a gun, but Sharp denies having one, the Sheriff's Office said. Sharp told investigators that he had tried unsuccessfully to land a job with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
On Feb. 6, Sharp was arrested in Hernando County and charged with stalking, records show. He is scheduled to be arraigned on that charge on March 6.
Reach Tony Marrero at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.