Marana police arrested a man Wednesday afternoon for impersonating a public servant when he posed as a firefighter at the funeral for a member of the ill-fated Granite Mountain hotshot crew.
During the funeral procession for William Warneke, 25 — one of 19 firefighters who died June 30 while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire near Prescott — a police officer took notice of James Patrick Brown, 49, Sgt. Jose Alvarez, spokesman for the Marana Police Department, said in a news release.
Brown was in a restricted area of the procession and was wearing a Tucson Fire Department T-shirt and hat. He had in his possession badges from the TFD and the Wickenburg Fire Department, Alvarez said. Brown falsely told the police officer he worked in TFD fleet services and was authorized to be in the procession.
Brown was booked into the Pima County jail on one count of impersonating a public servant. He also had an outstanding felony warrant for theft issued out of Maricopa County.
The investigation is ongoing to determine how Brown came into the possession of the badges, Alvarez said.