Queens, NY – A New York police officer working a paid detail at a BJ’s store on Memorial Day intercepted and confronted a man posing as a highly decorated U.S. military war hero (video below).
Officer Jay Park, a U.S. Army veteran, later posted cell phone footage of his conversation with the unidentified man on Facebook.
He said he was initially drawn to the “highly decorated douche bag” due to his slipshod attire.
“The man had an [Air Force] patch on [an Army combat uniform], spec op patches everywhere and awards ribbons on a field jacket,” including a Purple Heart.
Officer Park greeted the man, then casually began asking him about his supposed military service, the video showed.
The officer identified himself as an Army veteran, and asked him where he served.
“I served in Iraq,” the man stuttered. “The first Gulf War…the first one. Desert Storm.”
Officer Parks noted the impostor’s Purple Heart, and the man then told him about the significance behind his other ribbons and medals.
He told the officer he later served in “the reserves,” and launched into a history about the previous styles of uniforms he had supposedly been issued.
He also claimed that he was a commissioned Air Force officer, before he abruptly offered to show his identification.
Officer Park told him he didn’t need to see his ID, but the man suddenly flashed what appeared to be a state-issued identification card.
“Let me ask you something,” Officer Park interrupted. “How many people came to you today and said, ‘Thanks for your service?’”
“Actually,” the impostor responded with a smile, “I came from a parade, so I got a few.”
He explained that he had been at the Memorial Day parade in Manhattan just prior to coming to the store.
“You sure you didn’t get burned over there?” Officer Park asked him.
“Burned?” he asked.
“Yeah,” the officer replied. “For wearing your fake s--t?”
The impostor laughed nervously, but denied the officer’s allegation.
Officer Park then asked the man if he had ever heard of stolen valor.
“Yes, I have heard of a stolen valor,” he responded. “Stolen valor is when you use somebody’s else’s, um, things.”
Officer Park pointed out that such an act would be a federal crime.
“Yes. It is a federal crime,” said the man, who was no longer smiling and laughing.
He said he did not have his “paperwork” with him, then offered to remove his military attire.
“Yes. Go ahead,” Officer Park agreed, as the man removed his Purple Heart.
The officer then instructed him to remove the top portion of the uniform altogether.
“You know how disrespectful this is? On Memorial Day?” he asked the impostor. “Take off the dog tags, too. You never served, obviously.”
The man briefly and weakly argued that he has a “veteran’s card,” then quickly scurried away.
“Pay for your s--t, and get out of the store,” Officer Park firmly ordered.
He then trailed a short distance behind the man as he tried to weave his cart around other shoppers.
“Memorial Day. How disrespectful is that?” Officer Park said quietly. “Stolen valor.”
You can watch Officer Park’s encounter with the unidentified man in the video below: