A lot of shenanigans are known to go down at donut shops in the wee hours of the night. One of the few places open at 3 a.m., donut shops were once a watering hole for troublemakers and drunk cravings.
That is, until donut shop owners wised up and started handing out free donuts to cops to lure them in and maintain some sense of order. Donut shops eventually lost their bad reputations, but the cop and jelly donut stereotype, well, that stuck.
And 48-year-old Charles Barry might not be a cop but he has the gun and badge to prove it. To him, that warrants a free donut and, eventually, handcuffs.
According to Tampa Bay Times, Charles Thomas Barry visits the Dunkin Donuts in Pasco County every week. Sometimes he's a U.S. Marshal, other times he's a U.S. Air Marshal, sometimes he even has his family in tow. Each time he always asks for a discount, and sometimes they actually give him 10 percent off.
On November 6th, Barry came in and asked for his discount after flashing his gold star badge. When the cashier questioned him, he took out the revolver. "See I'm a cop!" he said (although never pointing the gun at him).
The store manager, Michelle Hoeltk, eventually asked the Pasco sheriff's Capt. James Mallo if asking for free donuts was actually still a thing. He explained that officers can receive discounts, but they can't ask for them.
That's when the sting operation went down.
The next time Barry pulled up to the Dunkin Donuts in his blue minivan, the store manager took down his license plate. When Barry came again, officers pulled him over. They found a Morris County Sherrif's badge in his wallet and a gun in his front pocket.
Barry was immediately arrested for impersonating a police officer and improper exhibition of a firearm. Apparently his father had been a cop in New Jersey.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism