Staff said the “agents” threatened to fine and even arrest them for asking them to wear masks.
Two men have been arrested in Florida for allegedly pretending to be U.S. Marshals so they didn’t have to wear face masks.
Staff at the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort hotel raised the alarm when 81-year-old Gary Brummett and Walter Wayne Brown Jr., 53, refused to wear a face covering after entering, claiming they were exempt because they were federal agents, according to a federal complaint.
The duo had phony badges on their belts, and fake laminated passes around their necks declaring them exempt from Covid restrictions, per the Sun Sentinel.
They even reportedly threatened to arrest any employees who tried to enforce it, warning the hotel could be hit with a huge fine.
All staff backed off — except for one, whose cousin was an actual U.S. Marshal, and who knew a real agent would never behave that way. So she called the police.
According to the complaint, the men had checked in on February 9, and had several run-ins with staff every time they were approached about not wearing masks.
“Do you know what this means,” Brummett allegedly said, pointing to his dodgy belt badge when approached by a hotel manager. “I’m a U.S. marshal and can have you arrested if you force me to wear a mask.”
When the real U.S. Marshal turned up after being called on February 11, both men were dining in the hotel restaurant.
They were forced to hand over their “credentials”, which included “authentic appearing” circular badges that read “Cherokee Nation Marshal”, as well as ID cards identifying them as Aniyvwiya Tribal Nation members, the complaint states.
They also relinquished their face mask exemption lanyards, which threatens anyone refusing access to business with a $75,000 fine under the Americans with Disabilities Act. All three cards were fake, according to authorities.
The men were arrested and charged with impersonating a federal officer.