Charges dropped against man accused of impersonating Miami Beach police spokesman

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A South Florida man was cleared of wrongdoing Thursday, months after he was arrested on a felony charge for allegedly impersonating a Miami Beach police spokesman on social media.

Orsetti did not appear in court Thursday as the state declined to file charges against him.

Orsetti was arrested in October on accusations that he created a fake Twitter account in January 2017, assuming Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto 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, authorities said.

"As a victim in this case, I'm disappointed the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office has decided to not prosecute the defendant. This is a clear case of impersonation, not parody," Rodriguez said in a statement.

Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates also expressed his disapproval with the decision Thursday.

"I've expressed my disappointment to the State Attorney's Office," Oates said. "All the elements of the crime are present and provable beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant should be prosecuted. If he is not, then he or someone else will do this again."

Local 10 News has requested the close-out memo relating to the case.

 

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