Two Florida men lied about being US marshals to get out of wearing COVID-19 masks: cops

Walter Wayne Brown Jr. (left) and Gary Brummett. (Broward County Sheriff/TNS)

Instead of just putting on face masks, two Florida men allegedly spun an elaborate lie to avoid proper health protocols. Now, they could end up serving time.

Walter Wayne Brown Jr., 53, and Gary Brummett, 81, have both been charged with impersonating a federal officer after they told staff at the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort that they were U.S. marshals and flashed fake badges and cards that they claimed exempted them from mask wearing, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“Wearing a face mask poses a mental and/or physical risk to me,” the phony cards read. “Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, I am not required to disclose my condition to you.”

The cards falsely claimed that businesses could be fined $75,000 for asking holders to put on a mask or specify their reasons for not wearing one.

At different times, according to the criminal complaint, both Brummett and Brown even threatened to arrest hotel employees who told they to put a mask on.

“Do you know what this means?” Brummett asked, pointing to his badge. “I’m a U.S. marshal and can have you arrested if you force me to wear a mask.”

An employee whose cousin is a U.S. Marshal got suspicious and the police were called to the hotel, according to the criminal complaint.

There, they found Brown and Brummett eating dinner and wearing “authentic appearing” circular badges that read “Cherokee Nation Marshal,” according to the complaint. They also provided cards identifying them as members of the Aniyvwiya Tribal Nation.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. confirmed to the Sun-Sentinel that neither man belongs to the tribe.


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