A Tampa man seen soliciting money outside a convenience store wearing a heavily-decorated military uniform was arrested after he admitted he wasn’t a veteran.
Freemane Brown, 54, was arrested for unlawful use of military insignias.
A concerned citizen notified deputies there was an individual wearing a military uniform aggressively soliciting money for veterans at the Wawa Store located at 804 E Bearss Ave in Tampa.
When deputies arrived on scene, they spotted Brown outside the store wearing a United States Navy uniform with a rank of Commander and 21 ribbons to include the Navy Cross and Silver Star, along with the Navy Seal Trident and Jump Wings.
Deputies observed many of the items on the military uniform were not in compliance to standard military regulations.
Deputies spoke with the manager of the Wawa store and she told them she gave permission to Brown two days earlier to stand outside the store since she believed Brown was a veteran.
During questioning, Brown first made statements he was a former member of SEAL Team Six and traveled all over the world. After further questioning, deputies said Brown admitted he was never a Navy Officer and never served as a Navy Seal.
Deputies learned Brown purchased all of his military insignias including the Navy uniform at a local Army/Navy surplus store. Deputies also noted Brown had a name tag on the uniform, but his name was covered with a small piece of black tape.
Brown voluntarily surrendered all of the military insignias at the scene. Brown was arrested at his home and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.