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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A man accused of impersonating a high-profile Miami Beach Police officer will not face criminal charges.
That decision comes from the State Attorney’s Office and it has the police chief fuming.
Miami Beach Police Officer and spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez is used to dealing with victims of crimes.
“Although I am in this uniform I am speaking to you today as the victim in this case,” said Rodriguez.
Wednesday night Rodriguez spoke to CBS4 as the victim in a bizarre case involving a man accused of creating a fake Twitter account using Rodriguez’s picture and bio.
Police arrested Ernesto Orsetti and accused him of impersonating a police officer, engaging with media, elected officials and community members.
CBS 4 News has learned that Miami-Dade prosecutors have decided not to pursue the charges against Orsetti.
“I’m very disappointed that they’ve decided not to prosecute this case,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez says he believes prosecutors felt they didn’t have enough evidence to go forward.
It’s a feeling he and his bosses do not share.
Rodriguez says there is evidence that Orsetti set up the account and interacted with the media.
He fears the dangerous situations that could have occurred since he is the face of the city’s police department.
“Messages could have been delivered to the news media that you guys may have gone forward with and possibly reported on, alarmed the community,” Rodriguez explained.
Fortunately that didn’t happen, but Rodriguez wonders what impact this will have on similar cases.
So does Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates.
He released this statement saying:
“I’ve expressed my disappointment to the State attorney’s Office. 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.”
A spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office told CBS4’s Carey Codd that they have not made any official announcements about this case.
There is a hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Orsetti’s attorney, Bobby Wells, said his client feels vindicated and believes the entire case was a personal vendetta against him.
Wells added that he’s not admitting his client set up this account, but even if he did, the lawyer believes it is protected speech.