Man arrested after store clerk says he impersonated Marion County sheriff’s deputy

Donnie Martin

A North Port man was jailed early Wednesday morning after being accused of impersonating a Marion County sheriff’s deputy.

A deputy reported seeing 57-year-old Donnie Martin inside the Circle K at 5182 E Silver Springs Blvd. wearing a black baseball cap and a black jacket with what appeared to be Marion County Sheriff’s Office insignias on them. He also was wearing blue gym shorts and no shoes.

Martin left the minimart in a tan Chevrolet Silverado and sheriff’s deputies stopped him a short time later. He first claimed his ex-girlfriend had left the jacket and hat inside his vehicle when they broke up, then said his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend gave him the hat as a gift. He also claimed he only wore the hat and jacket because he thought it was going to rain and he was cold, the report says.

A deputy spoke with the Circle K clerk, who said she saw Martin enter the store wearing the hat and jacket with sheriff’s office insignias on them. She said Martin told her “he had a long day and was serving warrants to people who do not register,” the report says.

After being read his rights, Martin again claimed the hat and jacket belonged to his ex-girlfriend, who he said works for the sheriff’s office. He also said he couldn’t remember what he said to the minimart clerk, the report says.

Martin was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, unlawful use of a badge or indicia of authority and larceny/petit theft (first offense). He is due in court on Nov. 12 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.