Man arrested for impersonating a firefighter for free food, drinks

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:39 pm

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.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


Send your photos & videos to and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.