Man arrested for impersonating a firefighter for free food, drinks

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ST. PETE, FL. - A Tampa Bay area man has been arrested impersonating a firefighter for free food, drinks.

According to St. Pete Police, 22-year-old Robert Spalla was arrested at his Clearwater home Wednesday on charges he impersonated a firefighter so he could get free food and drinks at various locations, including All Children's Hospital.

Police say Spalla represented himself to employees at All Children's Hospital as a firefighter who has been with the St. Pete Fire Department for the past 5 years.

Hospital employees say he would ask for special privileges, such as food vouchers or gas cards.

Police say Spalla has never been employed as a firefighter in the state of Florida, and when questioned by detectives, he reportedly admitted to the crime and said he often used the fake title to get free food and drinks at local businesses in Pinellas County.