LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A Lee County woman is behind bars, facing felony charges of fraud for impersonating a law enforcement officer. But here's the twist - the Lee County Sheriff's Office says the woman accused was pretending to be an undercover cop doing a prostitution sting.
Lee County Sheriff deputies say it started when they were called to the scene of a robbery on Palm Beach Boulevard, but the chain of events reveals a more colorful crime.
"We were notified of what appeared to be a robbery. Male thrown against a wall, hands out, person going through his pockets," John Sheehan of the Lee County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
Deputies say Misty McNeal was frisking a man she lured in for sex, but then turned around and tried to arrest him, in an attempt to make out with some cash.
"This proposition for sex turned into an actual robbery because the suspect was pretending to be an officer," Sheehan said.
According to the arrest report, the man says McNeal ordered him not to move, and keep his hands on the wall. The man told deputies she pulled out a fake badge, saying he truly believed she was the police, and thought he was in trouble for picking up a prostitute.
"To the untrained eye, it might have been believable. That time of night it's dark outside," Sheehan said.
Then, deputies say McNeal tried to pocket nearly $400 worth of cash from the man's wallet. By that time, deputies were on the scene, and the roundabout robbery ended in McNeal's arrest for robbery and fraud. As for the man involved, he's not facing charges, but the Sheriff's Office says he learned a lesson the hard way.
"He was a victim, I wouldn't say he was necessary the most innocent victim, because he kind of put himself in the wrong place, really doing something he shouldn't have been doing," Sheehan said.
McNeal is still in custody for the two felony charges. She has a criminal record with Lee County Sheriff's Office going back for more than a decade.