Florida Man Arrested for Breaching Crime Scene Tape at Plane Crash Site

(TargetDailyNews.com) – A man claiming to be a member of medical rescue personnel was arrested at the scene of a plane crash in Clearwater, Florida, on February 1st. Joseph Schifano, 66, told investigators he was a medic as he tried to cross the yellow police tape surrounding the crash site in a residential neighborhood.

Schifano was very curious and very determined, walking under the police tape several times after being warned by on-scene cops not to enter the area. Police say he couldn’t provide any proof of his occupation and they warned him to “move along.” Schifano’s arrest paperwork said he was “an entire house-length into the crime scene” and was taking video of the destruction.

On Thursday, February 1st, a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza crashed into a mobile home in Clearwater, killing two residents. The pilot, 54-year-old Jemin Patel, was also killed. Although four homes were set ablaze by the crash, the plane’s remains were confined mainly to one of the homes where two people were killed. They were resident Martha Parry, 86, and her visitor friend, 54-year-old Mary Ellen Pender.

Pilot Patel had apparently reported engine trouble by radio just before the crash, but there is yet no official word on the cause. He had departed from an airport in Vero Beach. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the deadly incident.

Witness Steven Ascari told CNN his apartment vibrated when he heard what he thought was an explosion that Thursday evening. Unbeknownst to him, at the same time, the pilot was communicating with a local airport relaying the news of his engine trouble. Sadly, the plane crashed into the mobile home park three miles from the airport runway.

Ascari said when it did, he saw a “giant pillar of smoke.”

According to the arrested man, Schifaro, his motivation for impersonating a medic was to get access to the scene so he could videotape and, hopefully, sell his footage to the media. Police say he apologized, but he was arrested anyway.

Jail records show Schifaro was arrested for resisting an officer without using violence, and that he was released on a modest bail amount of $500.

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