Man accused of impersonating Orange County deputy claims he was 'joking'

Suspect argued with father at park, police say


CLERMONT, Fla. – A man is accused of claiming that he was an Orange County deputy when he got into a verbal altercation with a father at a park Monday afternoon, according to the Clermont Police Department.

Police said the incident began at Clermont's Waterfront Park as the victim was talking his daughter to a restroom so she could change her clothes. As the pair was getting ready to leave the park, Nicholas DeSalvo approached and began arguing with the father, according to the report.

[READ: Volusia sheriff alarmed by scam impersonates deputies]

The victim put his young daughter in the vehicle and closed the door, but DeSalvo opened the car door and said he was an Orange County deputy and he wanted a ride, police said.

A witness intervened and tried to calm DeSalvo down as they waited for authorities to arrive, officials said. DeSalvo also told the bystander that he was a deputy, according to the affidavit.

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"We were kind of concerned," parkgoer Julia Wacaster saud.  "He wanted a ride or something and that’s when the guy was like, 'No I’m not giving you a ride.'"

Police said DeSalvo told them that he thought the victim's daughter had fear in her eyes and he believed the father was "up to no good." He admitted to claiming he was a deputy, but said he was just joking, according to the report.

DeSalvo, 36, was arrested on a charge of impersonating a police officer. He's being held on $2,000 bond.

Clermont police are reminding parents to keep their children close by at all times and encouraging everyone if they see anything suspicious to say something. 

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