Law enforcement officials arrested a Florida man after he was discovered wearing a military uniform complete with ribbons and awards while soliciting money for veterans, even though he is not a veteran.
Freemane Brown, 54, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office when he was discovered at a grocery story in Tampa, Florida, impersonating a military officer. He was reportedly wearing a U.S. Navy commander’s uniform, with 21 ribbons as well as a Navy Cross and Silver Star. He also reportedly had a Navy SEAL Trident as well as Jump Wings.
Some deputies at the scene found numerous components of his uniform that are not military regulation.
Upon questioning, Brown claimed that he was a former member of SEAL Team Six and had been traveling around the world. He soon recanted the statement, saying he was never a naval officer or a member of SEAL Team Six.
According to the manager of the grocery store, Brown had permission to stand outside and solicit money for veterans because she believed him to be a veteran.
He told deputies he purchased his military ribbons and medals from a local military surplus store.
Brown was arrested at his home on Aug. 12 for felony unlawful use of uniforms, medals or insignia. Deputies also confiscated his uniform and military insignias.
A judge set his bail at $2,000.