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Bail set for alleged cop impersonator

Published:   |   Updated: March 7, 2013 at 04:27 PM

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A former Wisconsin deputy arrested on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer earlier this month had his bail set for $5,000 by Judge Daniel Merritt Jr. Tuesday morning.

Ryan Romano, 31, was arrested by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 9 after cutting off a driver in the Taco Bell parking lot on 11140 Spring Hill Drive and flashing a badge and asking for their identification, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

When Romano asked the passengers to exit the vehicle so he could search it, the passengers questioned him and threatened to call "real" law enforcement. Romano then left the scene in a truck with a passenger.

Later that day, a call came in from Spring Haven apartments in Spring Hill about individuals posing as law enforcement and gave a similar identification to the men from the Taco Bell parking lot.

In a written statement, Romano said he had recently retired from the Kenosha Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin. Hernando Today confirmed Romano had resigned.

Romano was originally given a no-bond status due to being a flight risk and his "threats of harming law enforcement," according to the affidavit. A Kenosha County Sheriff's Office spokesman told Hernando Today that threats supposedly made by Romano when he resigned were never confirmed.

Romano's attorney, Peyton Hyslop, declined to have the charges read, saying he intended to file a motion to dismiss for his client, who lacks a criminal record.

Hyslop said Romano had relocated to Florida to look for work.

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