Jul 12, 2013 2:25 AM by Nathan O'Neal

Trio busted in separate cases for posing as public servants

TUCSON - A trio of men were arrested in two separate incidents after posing as public servants.

One man was arrested for impersonating a firefighter at the funeral procession for fallen Granite Mountain Hot Shot Billy Warneke, who died along with 18 others while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.
James Patrick Brown was taking part in the procession when he was first noticed as "out of place".

"He was just odd in the way he was stepping in and out of the procession. He was taking photographs so when the [Tucson Fire] assistant fire chief challenged him, that's when we were able to identify that he wasn't a legitimate firefighter," said Sgt. Jose Alvarez of the Marana Police Department.

Brown was wearing a TFD t-shirt and hat at the time and was carrying a TFD captain's badge and a badge from the Wickenburg Fire Department. He was arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail for impersonating a public servant. Brown also had an outstanding warrant for theft in Maricopa County.

However, this is not the only imposter bust recently.

Two men were arrested for posing as police officers and making fake traffic stops with a car outfitted with police lights, according to Sgt. Maria Hawke of Tucson Police. The men were also charged with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault - all tracing back to a series of incidents last month.

"While they were there, the air unit happened to be in the area, saw the traffic stop [and] recognized that it looked out of place," Hawke said.

Their names have not been released yet because the investigation is ongoing. However, this string of imposters is a cause for concern.

"For the public, it raises a concern as to who are they dealing with... is that in fact a legitimate officer or not and if not, what are their intentions?" Hawke said.

Tucson Police are asking the public for help in identifying any additional incidents or possible suspects. If you have any information that might help, call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.


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