Flagler FL March 11 2020 — A 60-year-old Palm Coast man tried to walk out of a Publix Friday night without paying for groceries, deputy’s said, and when a security guard tried stopping the man, he claimed he was a U.S. marshal and didn’t have to pay.
The security guard at the store at 4950 Belle Terre Parkway later confronted the man in the parking lot, and he flashed a gold badge with the words “United States Marshal” etched on it, according to a Flagler County sheriff’s report.
The badge proved to be fake and the man’s claims of being a U.S. marshal proved to be lies, his arrest report states.
Leroy Stotelmyer was arrested and charged with falsely impersonating a federal law enforcement officer, petty theft – second-degree pick pocketing, and resisting a merchant. He was released from jail Saturday morning on $3,500 bail, booking records show.
According to a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office news release, store security stopped Stotelmyer as he tried exiting the Publix without paying for two boxes of potatoes and a grouper fillet he concealed in his reusable shopping bag. After being confronted and telling the tale about being a marshal, he put the bag down on the ground and walked to his car, officials said. When the security guard approached Stotelmyer in the parking lot, he flashed the fake badge.
Deputies identified the suspect and tracked him to his home, and he initially denied the allegations. But he confessed when deputies told him store surveillance video captured the entire incident. He admitted he is not a U.S. marshal, deputies said.
Stotelmyer also claimed to be a Federal Air Marshal during an Oct. 28 traffic stop, deputies said.
“This guy took a minor shoplifting charge and turned it in to a felony by flashing a shiny gold badge trying to get away with committing crimes,” Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly said in Monday’s news release. “Impersonating a law enforcement officer is a felony offense and will not be tolerated. I hope he learns his lesson.”