Man arrested for impersonating Miami Beach police spokesman, authorities say

Ernesto Orsetti, 48, accused of impersonating PIO on social media

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A South Florida man was arrested Thursday, months after he impersonated Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez, authorities said.

Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said in a news release that Ernesto Orsetti, 48, of Miami Beach, impersonated the public information officer in January on social media.

"The behavior here was outrageous. It threatened to damage the reputation of our superb Public Information Officer, as well as the Miami Beach Police Department brand," Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel J. Oates said in a statement. "We simply can't tolerate such an impersonation, and I am glad Mr. Orsetti will now be held accountable."

Authorities said Orsetti created a fake Twitter account, assuming Rodriguez's identity.

Police said he used the officer's photo on his account and engaged with local media, elected officials and others in the community while pretending to be Rodriguez.

Detectives linked the Twitter account to Orsetti after an IP address associated with the account came back as the suspect's home on Michigan Avenue. 

Orsetti is charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, which is a third-degree felony. 


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