Derlyn Roberts provided sign language interpretation during a news conference when Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan announced the news that the suspected Seminole Heights serial killer was arrested on November 28. As Chief Dugan relayed information about the capture of 24-year-old Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, Roberts continued relaying messages. The problem was, no one could understand what she was signing, which was mostly nonsensical.

“Gibberish” is how many news agencies described Roberts’ interpretation of Chief Dugan’s statements. Rachelle Settambrino is not only deaf, she also teaches American Sign Language (ASL) at the University of South Florida.

She, too, called Roberts’ sign language “gibberish,” according to KFOR News 4. Settambrino said it appeared that Roberts was signing but the reality is that she “was not using actual signs.”

Police spokesman 'sorry' for fraudulent interpretation

Roberts, 53, was not asked to interpret for the police department, according to Stephen Hegarty, the agency’s spokesman. He was told “a sign language interpreter was outside” just before the news conference started, according to the Miami Herald.

Hegarty stated that he thought it was “great that someone” called an interpreter, the Herald reported. He also accepted responsibility and fault for Roberts’ fraudulent interpretation. “Shame on me,” he stated.

He also offered his apology, saying, “I am very sorry.”

Victim’s mother ‘needed the interpreter’

Betti Bonni, who is a certified deaf interpreter, stated that she automatically knew that Roberts was a fraud. She described Roberts as “twisting her hands back and forth,” FOX 4 (Kansas City) reported.

Bonni also stated that she knows the mother of victim Monica Hoffa, whose mother is deaf, “needed the interpreter,” FOX 4 noted.

The news Roberts was signing was “incomprehensible,” Bonni stated.

Fake interpreter likened to singing ‘Jingle Bells,’ not signing

Settambrino likened Roberts’ waving her arms to someone singingJingle Bells.” She relayed a feeling confused, disappointed and upset that the police department did not verify that Roberts was a legitimate interpreter, the Tampa Bay Times noted.

Committing fraud is not unfamiliar for Roberts. Tampa Police actually arrested her and she was convicted of fraud in 2012. She has also spent time in prison for committing fraud. While posing as a sign language interpreter is not a crime, it is an ethical violation, according to KFOR.

At a news conference on November 29, Tampa Police had a legitimate ASL interpreter, Ben Zapata. The police department requested an interpreter through Purple Communications, which is the company that the agency usually contacts for ASL interpreters.

Second-time phony interpreter Florida at news conference

After a seeing a friend’s post on Facebook about Roberts’ interpretation of the news about Donaldson’s arrest, ASL interpreter Windy Rossi said she “tuned in” to the news conference.

She questioned whether providing qualified for interpretation is a “problem in Florida,” the Times reported.

As Hurricane Irma loomed and threatened Manatee County, FL, earlier this year, safety precautions were signed during a news conference by someone who was also not qualified to provide ASL interpretation. Lissette Molina Wood, who is deaf and who is the former president of Florida’s Association of the Deaf stated that the Florida Legislature was lobbied previously but didn’t “pass a bill requiring” the “all ASL interpreters” to be certified.