WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County Fire Captain was arrested last month after allegedly having sex with a minor earlier this year.
According to the Winter Haven Police Department, the incident occurred at the Lake Maude Nature Park in Winter Haven around April 2022.
On Nov. 8, police responded to a sexual battery report on a juvenile. According to police, the victim was a cadet in the Polk Fire Rescue Cadet Program.
Within the program, cadets needed to contact a fire station of their choice and obtain approval from the captain on shift to complete a ride-along. The cadet had chosen to volunteer at Station 37, where she worked alongside Fire Captain Aaron D’Alto.
The victim stated that during her time as a cadet, she and D’Alto would message through TikTok and talk about video games.
Police stated that the captain asked for the girl’s number after he was unable to send GIFs through TikTok messages. The girl provided her number to D’Alto and they began texting.
Initially, the two texted about video games until around mid-May when D’Alto made arrangements to meet at the Lakeland Square Mall to watch the “Doctor Strange” movie together.
On May 26, the two drove separately to the mall, watched the movie together, ate at Chipotle, and then went to the iPanic Escape Room, where a picture of the two was posted on the iPanic Escape Room Facebook page.
Officials stated that during their time together at the mall, there was no sexual conduct between them. However, after their time at the mall, the text messages between the two became “more sexual in nature.”
Two days later, on May 28, D’Alto planned to meet the girl at an Applebee’s during the late evening hours.
Police said that the girl drove her car, and parked it in the restaurant parking lot where D’Alto picked her up. From the restaurant, the two rode together to Lake Maude Nature Park.
After D’Alto parked his truck, the two engaged in sexual intercourse for an extended amount of time. The girl told police that two similar incidents occurred with him at a later date.
On Nov. 8, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office contacted D’Alto at his residence where he denied ever hanging out with the minor outside of the station on their own time. However, he did state that the two did many ride-alongs together at the station.
Once police showed him the photo of the two at the escape room, he told detectives that he recalled being with her that day and confirmed they did go to a movie at the mall and the escape room.
Before police arrived at D’Alto’s residence, the girl provided a total of 166 screenshots of text messages between the two. The provided screenshots revealed plans between the girl and D’Alto to meet up.
Following the investigation, police charged D’Alto with one count of Unlawful Sex with Certain Minors and one county of traveling to meet a minor.