HUDSON, Fla. - A Pasco County man is accused of impersonating a deputy and patting down two homeless men who engaged in a fight near a bus stop back on July 2 wants his name cleared.
"It's a lie," said D'Agosta.
D'Agosta, of 18619 Aripeka Road in Aripeka, said he noticed two homeless men fighting while he was out getting cigarettes and pulled over to stop the fight after he noticed one of the men was bleeding.
D'Agosta said he pulled over and pulled the men apart. He described both as highly intoxicated.
The bus stop is located at 12610 U.S. 19 in Hudson.
Just as the fight was separated, Detective Kip Mello with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrived.
"This Edward as he called himself came up to me and says, What is your name?' I said, 'Mello.' He said, I am Edward, a deputy with Citrus County," Detective Mellow recalled.
D'Agosta denied that exchange ever took place.
"He didn't say nothing to me. I introduced myself as Edward D'Agosta. I didn't say nothing about Citrus County or nothing," D'Agosta said.
Detective Mello told ABC Action News that D'Agosta identified himself as a deputy to another officer who arrived on scene, replied yes when asked if he was working undercover as part of the vice squad and had been with law enforcement for eight months.
D'Agosta denies all those allegations.
"I just want to go ballistic. I want my name cleared," he explained.
Detective Mello said he was not immediately suspicious of D'Agosta but decided the following day to research him.
According to Mello, he first called Citrus County to find out of D'Agosta was employed there and found out he was not employed in any capacity.
Then, Mello said he returned to the bus stop and found the now sober homeless men.
" [They said D'Agosta] patted them down they said something about he threatened to take them to jail," the detective said.
D'Agosta said he simply tried to help the two homeless men and as a result 'got kicked in the butt' for doing the right thing. He also noted that when he broke up the fight he was dressed 'scrubby' and in no way looked like he was with law enforcement.
D'Agosta's girlfriend, Kelly Orsini, said she was confused when her boyfriend was arrested Sunday.
Orsini told ABC Action News Detective Mello stopped by the home they share to thank D'Agosta for intervening in the fight.
"Why would he say he was here to thank him for helping him break up a fight?" Orsini questioned.
Detective Mello confirmed he stopped by the house but said when he thought he recognized D'Agosta's car he feared D'Agosta would go on the run.
"I did not tell the exact reasons why I was there to arrest him in fear that he may hide at that point," Mello explained.
D'Agosta was at work. Another deputy came and arrested him Sunday.
He is now charged with falsely impersonating a law enforcement officer.