Tina Cissell, who manages the Scott Township restaurant, testified she gave Charles Lester Jones a free meal—a courtesy she extends to officers in uniform—after he claimed to be an Allegheny county detective.
Even if she couldn't recall his order, Cissell said she remembered his face. And when he kept returning to ask for food on subsequent days she said she told him the free meals were for uniformed officers only.
"He said, 'I'm better than them,'" Cissell testified at Jones' preliminary hearing.
On one visit, Jones quickly flashed a badge then claimed he had given all of his business cards away to judges when she pressed him for further proof, Cissell testified. That's when she followed him to his car, got his license plate number, and called police.
Scott Township Sgt. Jeff Skees charged Jones, 55, in August with impersonating an officer.
"It's giving people a false impression," Skees told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( http://bit.ly/TGuHcS). "There is a level of trust toward police officers."
Defense attorney Phillip DiLucente denied Jones, of Carnegie, did anything wrong, and said he has worked security at major events in and around Pittsburgh for years, including the Group of 20 economic summit in September 2009. Victory Security in Carnegie said Jones last worked there in July.
"I find it interesting the store manager is able to say what he said, but couldn't remember what he ordered," DiLucente said. "He never, ever, ever claimed he had a badge or was in uniform."
Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com