LANGHORNE, Pa. (TheBlaze/AP) — Authorities are looking into whether a man accused of falsely posing as a U.S. Army ranger broke the law while out shopping in suburban Philadelphia. As authorities investigate the potential federal crime, new information has surfaced suggesting the same man was once arrested for posing as a dead police officer.
The Middletown Police Department and military investigators are looking into whether the man illegally profited by wearing military fatigues while shopping Friday at the Oxford Valley Mall in Bucks County, said Middletown Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla.
The Allentown Morning Call reports that 30-year-old Sean Yetman was arrested in 2003 for allegedly wearing a police coat and badge. During a traffic stop, an actual police officer reportedly questioned Yetman about the police coat and he claimed that he worked out Fishtown’s 26th district. He eventually changed his story and said he was a ride-along in the police academy. He was reportedly arrested when he couldn’t provide any identification.
It was later revealed that the jacket and badge belonged to officer Robert Hayes, a police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1995, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. Hayes’ widow reportedly told police she had no idea how Yetman obtained her late husband’s possessions as he previously passed down the items to her son.
In the new video video showing Yetman allegedly impersonating an Army Ranger, he is grilled relentlessly by Ryan Berk, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. Berk recorded the incident and the video has garnered more than 2 million views between two YouTube accounts. Berk was shopping with his girlfriend and her son when Berk noticed a few things off with the man’s uniform.
“A patch was misplaced and his boots were untucked,” said Berk, 26. “That’s when I initially had a suspicion.”
Berk, who is studying criminal justice at Temple University, is heard in the video questioning the man about different features of his uniform before the man walks off.
You can watch the full video of the confrontation below:
U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick notified the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the video, saying it could “contain evidence of a federal crime.”
Under the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, it is illegal to “fraudulently hold oneself out” to be a recipient of military decorations with the intent to obtain “tangible benefits.”
It is not illegal to falsely claim to be in the military, but Bartorilla says the man could have broken the law if he posed with the purpose of profiting through a discount or other means. State law says it’s also illegal to purchase any military decoration earned in service.
Courtesy of Mad World News