Man charged with impersonating cop for free food

Published On: Oct 06 2012 12:27:38 PM EDT
Police lights
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -

Authorities in southwest Florida have arrested a man they say pretended to be an officer in an attempt to get free food.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies said Joseph Pineda rolled up to a McDonald's drive-through Friday saying he deserved free food because he was a cop. Authorities said he flashed a badge and gun and told restaurant employees he had just come from a sting and didn't have his wallet.

Employees 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.

Thirty-three year-old Pineda was charged with impersonating a police officer and improper exhibition of a firearm.

He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail.