Fake cop tried to eat free at McDonald's, Pinellas deputies say
A man impersonated a police officer and flashed a badge and a gun in an attempt to get free food at a McDonald's, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. According to a report, Joseph E. Pineda, 33, 4015 73rd St. N., Pinellas Park, placed an order at the drive-thru speaker at the restaurant, 1616 58th St. N., St. Petersburg. When the employee told Pineda through the speaker how much his order would cost, he replied he was a law enforcement officer, did not have his wallet with him and wanted his food free of charge, deputies said. When Pineda pulled around to the window, he told the manager the same story, deputies said, and then flashed his badge and showed a gun.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 said they told Pineda 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, they said. He was ordered out of the vehicle and was taken into custody. In the vehicle, deputies found two badges and a .45-caliber gun in the center console. Pineda also had a holster, deputies said. Pineda was charged with impersonating a police officer and improper exhibition of a firearm. The investigation continues.