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Monday, January 30, 2023

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Polk County Fire Rescue Captain Charged For An Alleged Inappropriate Sexual Relationship With Cadet

Winter Haven, Florida – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Winter Haven Police Department have arrested Polk County Fire Rescue Captain Matthew Aaron D’Alto, 31, of Bartow charging him with 2 counts of Traveling To Meet A Minor and 2 counts of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors. The arrests came back on November 9 & November 15, 2022. This past week Polk County Courts combined the two arrests into one case. According to reports the victim is a cadet in training. “ Fire Rescue Cadets is a youth organization sponsored by Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) and chartered under the Florida Fire Chiefs Association (FFCA). PCFR is designated as the chartered organization. Membership is open to all young adults who are 14 years old and have completed the eighth grade or is 15 years of age and not yet 19.”

According to Deputy County Manager Halman, “Aaron D’Alto resigned following his arrest last month. Had D’Alto not resigned, we would have conducted an administrative inquiry; after which, his employment would have been terminated.”

Below is a copy of the affidavit: It should be noted that this is an unedited report of facts by the Winter Haven Police Department. These facts are up for question and everyone is entitled to question the validity of facts by law enforcement in a court of law. The Daily Ridge does not rewrite these facts as some meanings or interpretations could be in error and change context. We hope readers appreciate being able to read the information and come to their own understanding and conclusions:

“On November 8, 2022, I responded to the Winter Haven Police Department in reference to a Sexual Battery on Juvenile call for service. I was advised the sexual battery had occurred at the Lake Maude Nature Park, 1751 7th Street Northeast, Winter Haven, around April of 2022.

I made contact with victim, REDACTED who advised REDACTED advised a requirement for the program was to complete 8 hours a month volunteering at Fire Stations within Polk County. REDACTED advised cadets would need to contact a fire station of their choice and obtain approval from the Captain on shift to complete a ride along.

REDACTED advised in the past she had volunteered at Station 37, located at 1201 Cypress Parkway, Poinciana, where she worked along the side of the Fire Captain (Defendant), Aaron D’Alto. REDACTED stated during her time as a cadet at Station 37, she and D’Alto would communicate through Tik Tok messages about video games. REDACTED stated during their communication, D’Alto asked for her phone number since he was unable to send GIF’s through the Tik Tok messages. REDACTED then provided her phone number to D’Alto, who then texted her back from phone number REDACTED. The victim, REDACTED, advised her and D’Alto initially texted about video games. Around mid-May, ” REDACTED and D’Alto made arrangements to meet at the Lakeland Square Mall, located at 3800 US Highway 98 North, to watch a Doctor Strange movie together. On May 26th, REDACTED and D’Alto drove separately to the Lakeland Square Mall, watched the movie together, ate at Chipotle, and then visited iPanic Escape Room. A photograph of the victim, REDACTED, and D’Alto was taken by the iPanic Escape Room staff and was later posted on their Facebook page, iPanic Florida. REDACTED advised there was no sexual contact during their time together at the Lakeland Square Mall. REDACTED advised after May 26th, the text message conversations began to become more sexual in nature. REDACTED and D’Alto arranged to meet in the late evening hours of May 28th, at the Applebee’s Grill and Bar, located at 201 Cypress Boulevard Southwest. REDACTED had arranged to drive her personal vehicle and park in the Applebee’s parking lot. D’Alto would then pick her up in his red Dodge Ram (REDACTED) and then ride with D’Alto to the Lake Maude Nature Park. REDACTED stated once at the park, D’Alto parked his vehicle in the shaded areas. REDACTED and D’Alto then moved to the back seat with intentions to engage in sexual intercourse. REDACTED advised D’Alto and her began to kiss, where he then began undress.

(Editors note: We are REDACTING the specific details of the alleged sexual encounter between the victim and defendant).

After the sexual intercourse, they placed their clothing back on and began to drive back to Applebee’s. REDACTED advised they did stop at the CVS, located at 400 6th Street Northwest, where D’Alto entered and purchased a Plan B pill for REDACTED. REDACTED advised she took the Plan B pill that night. REDACTED continued to advise of two similar incidents with D’Alto that occurred at a later date in Saddle Creek, Lakeland (Polk County Sheriff’s Office Case 22-47019).

During the above interview, REDACTED provided a total of 166 screenshots of D’Alto’s and hers text message conversations. In the screenshots, D’Alto and REDACTED are seen arranging the trip to Lake Maude Nature Park. In several of the screenshots provided there were photographs of D’Alto sent from his behalf.

On November 8th, myself and Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detective Foster, made contact with D’Alto at his residence, Bartow. During the consensual interview, D’Alto knowing REDACTED is a cadet. D’Alto advised REDACTED would do many ride alongs at station 37. D’Alto denied ever hanging out with REDACTED outside of the station on their personal time.

D’Alto was shown the Panic Escape Room photograph and advised that he and had made their own plans to watch the Doctor Strange Movie at the Lakeland Square Mall. D’Alto advised after the movie they went to the Escape Room and recalled being with her that day.

D’Alto confirmed his phone number being REDACTED and stated no one else has had access to his cellphone.

Due to the investigation above, I found probable cause to charge D’Alto with one count of Unlawful Sex with Certain Minors, one count of Traveling to Meet a Minor.

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