SAINT MARYS, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Elk County man has been charged with impersonating a public servant after police witnessed him impersonating a firefighter/emergency service person.
Saint Marys police report that 24-year-old Anthony Rossino was observed in July 2020 driving down State Street with his four-way lights flashing and a white light flashing that was mounted under his rearview mirror. He was reportedly waving a flashlight to urge people to pull over and get out of his way.
Once stopped, the officer says Rossino started asking about where the car fire was and that he was responding to a call. Rossino was wearing an Emporium Fire Department badge and uniform at the time.
The officer spoke with the Chief of the Emporium Fire Department two days later and reports that he was told that Rossino was not, and never was, a volunteer for his department.
Police interviewed Rossino in August when he told officers that he had applied to Emporium, Crystal, and Johnsonburg Fire Departments. He was denied by Johnsonburg and never heard back from Emporium and Crystal. He also admitted to officers that he was not a firefighter at the time he was pulled over in July by Saint Marys police and he got the uniform and badge from a friend and a scanner from another friend.
Upon leaving the station, police report that Rossino was driving a black station wagon that had reflective tape and a red cross with a white outline on it. The car also had the words “emergency” and “unit” on the back window with “JFD” and “EMS” on the back hatch. Rossino then surrendered his Emporium Fire Department shirt to the officer, keeping a box of ammonia inhalants that were in the pocket. He told police he was keeping them in case he needs to “help someone.”
Rossino has been charged with impersonating a public servant, a second degree misdemeanor.