Memphis, Ind. man accused of impersonating police officers in effort to get free food from Taco Bell
He allegedly claimed to be undercover. Now authorities say he's under arrest.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Memphis, Indiana, man has been arrested after police say he impersonated law enforcement officers and first responders from several agencies in order to get free or discounted food from Taco Bell.
According to an arrest report, 21-year-old Dalton Barnett was arrested in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Oct. 11.
A deputy with the Scott County Sheriff's Office wrote that the department received a report that a man was driving around Scott County, Indiana, with a badge, a BB gun on his hip and possibly a real 9mm handgun under the driver's seat of his Ford Ranger. Witnesses claimed he had been driving to Taco Bell locations in Madison and Scottsburg, claiming to be a police officer so he could get free or discounted food.
The deputy says Barnett's Ford Ranger was spotted traveling westbound on State Road 56, before it pulled into a Taco Bell parking lot. According to the arrest report, the deputy pulled into the parking lot behind Barnett, activated the police vehicle's emergency lights, and handcuffed Barnett for safety's sake.
Authorities say Barnett told them there were no weapons in the vehicle, but later admitted that there was a BB gun inside the cab.
When confronted about witness allegations that he had claimed to be a Madison Police officer, a Clark County narcotics detective and a Scott County paramedic on various occasions, Barnett allegedly told officers that he was "in the hiring process" for both the Madison Police Department and Clark County. However, Barnett admitted that he was not a paid employee of any agency.
Despite Barnett's claim that he had nothing on his person to mislead the public that he was a law enforcement officer, authorities say they found a gold security officer badge with his wallet.
At that point, Barnett was placed under arrest.
"I then spoke with Taco Bell employees who stated that Barnett had on several occasions told them he was a cop and requested a discount or free food," the deputy wrote in the arrest report. "The employees stated he wears a gun on his hip and states he is undercover. There were some employees who would give me a sworn statement, but others stated that he had done this act to them but refused to fill out a statement."
According to the arrest report, the on-duty manager at the Taco Bell in Madison, Indiana, was contacted and stated she knew exactly who they were talking about -- even going as far as to describe Barnett's vehicle -- and said that she also had heard him claim to be a law enforcement officer and request free or discounted food.
Barnett was arrested and charged with impersonating a public servant or law enforcement officer, theft and false reporting. He is currently being held in the Scott County Detention Center.
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