A man seen in a viral video allegedly impersonating an Army Ranger may now be facing federal charges.
The video, which took place at Oxford Valley Mall, located in Bucks County, PA, was recorded on Black Friday.
It was filmed by Ryan Berk, 26, of North Hampton, Pennsylvania. Berk was a sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan in 2010-11.
The impersonator’s name is being withheld, as charges have yet to be filed.
“No one is going to question a guy in uniform, unless they already wear the uniform,” said Berk, who earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded by shrapnel in 2010 while fighting in Afghanistan.
According to Berk, he spotted the man in the Army fatigues while shopping in a shoe store. It was when he got a closer look that he noticed “little things” that were off about the man’s appearance — the shoelaces on his boots weren’t right, an American flag patch was in the wrong spot on his sleeve, and he was missing a combat patch.
Berk said he didn’t confront the man in the store, but did pull aside the manager and suggested he ask to see military ID if the man asked for a military discount. Berk doesn’t know if the man asked for a discount.
What inspired him to confront the man, Berk said, was a 20-minute conversation he overheard during which the alleged soldier told a small boy about his military experiences.
“It was fueling my fire. I was getting aggravated,” he said. “I knew 100 percent he was fake but I didn’t want to put him on 100 percent blast immediately.”
As the man walked out of the store, Berk turned on his cell phone, and the rest was documented on the video below.
Under the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, claiming to be a soldier is not a crime in and of itself. However, trying to collect military benefits is.
Though the video does not show the impersonator using his uniform for benefits, such as a military discount, the matter is now being investigated.
Watch the video below:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOj07ClhEi8?rel=0]
H/T: MCALL.com | Featured Image: Screen Grab