Man charged w/ impersonating Pasco deputy to impress girlfriend - WFLA News Channel 8

Man charged with impersonating Pasco deputy to impress girlfriend

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PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A man is facing charges that he impersonating a Pasco County deputy in order to impress his girlfriend.

Investigators say between August 2012 and January 2013, Christopher Sharp, 24, was in a relationship with a female, Randi Merril. Authorities say Sharp lied when he told his girlfriend he was a Pasco County Sheriff's deputy.

Sharp would come home "from work" wearing his Pasco County Sheriff's Office uniform, telling stories to Randi, her family, and friends about what had occurred during his "shift," the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. 

He even went so far as to provide legal advice to people regarding child custody matters, avoiding a DUI arrest, and traffic citations.  These people assumed the information was legitimate as Sharp said he was a Deputy Sheriff and was often seen wearing an official uniform shirt. 

On several occasions, Sharp responded to the bar where Merril worked, in civilian clothes, but identified himself as a Deputy Sheriff, and offered legal advice to the patrons.

In January, Merril was at a New Years Eve Party at a friend's house in Hernando Beach.  Sharp arrived wearing a Pasco County Deputy Sheriff uniform.  He proceeded to tell the guests stories about DUI enforcement that he had been conducting earlier that night.

Investigators say Sharp is not a deputy. The investigation revealed he worked at a local Pizza Hut.  He stole the Deputy Sheriff uniform from his sister's boyfriend, who is a real Pasco County Deputy Sheriff, officials said.  He would stop on his way home from Pizza Hut and change into the deputy shirt and badge along with a pair of Army pants.

When detectives interviewed Sharp, a Hernando county resident, he advised he did this to impress his girlfriend.  He advised that he tried to get hired by Hillsborough County but was not chosen.  Sharp told authorities he knew his activity was wrong and illegal.

Sharp told detectives that he never pretended to be a Deputy Sheriff outside the realm of family friends - he never attempted to pull anyone over. While one witness claims to have seen a gun, Sharp denies ever having one.

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