Man arrested for impersonating a firefighter at hotshot’s funeral

James Patrick Brown, 29
James Patrick Brown, 29
James Patrick Brown

At the funeral procession in Marana, Arizona for 25-year-old William Warneke, one of the 19 firefighters who died June 30 while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire, James Patrick Brown, 29, was arrested for impersonating a firefighter. Here are the details as reported by KGUN9-TV:

It was a somber procession that led mourners, including hundreds of firefighters, to the Marana Mortuary. And it was here that an assistant fire chief for the city of Tucson noticed someone darting in and out of the procession, taking pictures. What’s more, he was wearing a tucson fire t-shirt and hat.

When approached, our ‘photographer’ said he was a Tucson firefighter, for the city’s fleet services division. Little did he know, he was talking to the top dog in that division. In other words, he was asked to try again. 49 year-old James Brown’s story continued to crumble, when police searched his pockets.

“We found him in possession of two different fire department badges,” said Alvarez.

They also found brown had a lengthy rap sheet, complete with an outstanding felony warrant from Maricopa County for theft. Police arrested our fake firefighter and charged him with impersonating a public servant.


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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.