Clearwater Man Charged With Posing as St. Pete Firefighter

When questioned by detectives, Robert Spalla admitted to representing himself as a firefighter at All Children's Hospital and on multiple other occasions, often seeking concession for food and drink at businesses in Pinellas County.

St. Petersburg Police have arrested and charged a 22-year-old Clearwater man with impersonating a St. Pete Fire & Rescue firefighter.

Police say starting in November 2012, when one of his family members was in All Children's Hospital, Robert Spalla began to pose as a firefighter at the hospital.

Spalla would be seen wearing jumpsuits or T-shirt with "fire department type logos" on them, according to authorities. He claimed that he worked for the St. Petersburg Fire Department for the last five years.

At the hospital, according to police, Spalla would cite his status as a firefighter and asked for special privileges such food vouchers or gas cards.

According to police, when questioned by detectives, Spalla admitted representing himself as a firefighter multiple occasions, often seeking concession for food and drink at businesses in Pinellas County.

Spalla, police said, has never been employed as a firefighter in the State of Florida.

Spalla was arrested at his Clearwater home, 705 S. Highland Ave., Wednesday morning after admitting to the crimes. 

He is currently in the Pinellas County Jail on one count of impersonating a firefighter with a $5,000 bond.

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