Encounter At Bar Investigated
By CANDACE J. SAMOLINSKI firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: May 3, 2005
HUDSON - A man's attempt at getting a date could leave him with a criminal record and a firefighter in the hot seat.
A 47-year-old woman and a friend went to Mike's Dockside Bar and Grill, 14333 Crabtrap Court, after work Sunday to eat. She couldn't help but notice a man with multiple tattoos and a unique haircut sitting in her line of sight.
About 8 p.m., she walked to her car, got inside and the man appeared at her passenger window.
``The window was open a little bit because my air hasn't been working,'' the woman said Monday. ``He knocked on the window and said, `I would like to talk to you.' He said to roll it down. I said he could talk through there and he said, `What, are you scared?' I said, `Yeah, kind of.' He pulled out his badge and said, `I'm an undercover cop.' ''
Memories of recent media reports about abductions flooded her mind.
``All I could think was that he wanted to get in the car and take me away somewhere,'' she said. ``I think the only reason he left was because my friend pulled up behind me.''
The woman met up with her friend later to discuss the incident. She then called bar manager Larry Shaw, and he called the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He also identified a 39- year-old Port Richey man as the man the she described.
``He was pretty distinctive looking, and I've seen him in here about three times,'' Shaw said Monday. ``I was surprised they didn't arrest him.''
The Tampa Tribune is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime. A deputy interviewed the man and according to a sheriff's report, he thought the woman was ``eyeing him'' and followed her.
``He did flash a badge at her and indicated he was an `undercover cop,' '' a sheriff's office report states. ``[The man] stated that he only did it as a joke and that he was hoping he could `pick her up.' ''
The badge, which was confiscated, belongs to a Hernando County firefighter. It was issued to the East Hernando Fire Department prior to a merger with the county, fire officials said Monday. An investigation is ongoing to see how it ended up in the Port Richey's hands. The deputy reported the man said it belongs to a friend.
``We're still investigating. We do want to talk to the victim to see exactly what she says happened. We have talked with her over the phone, and we would still like to talk to her face to face,'' sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said. ``She should have called 911 immediately and maybe we could have taken her statement there, but if she felt safer leaving then she did the right thing.''
As for the Port Richey man, who couldn't be reached for comment, he could face a felony charge of falsely personating an officer or a first-degree misdemeanor for obstructing justice by unlawful use of a badge.
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05-13-2005, 07:57 PM #1
Hudson Fla--Man Brandish Firefighters Badge at local bar..Investigation09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.
05-14-2005, 06:35 AM #2
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Can anyone say "ebay"?
05-14-2005, 10:50 AM #3Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
Can anyone say "ebay"?Fire Marshal/Safety Officer
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