By New Haven Register Staff
OLD LYME, Conn. -- The brother of former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts was charged Thursday with impersonating a police officer, including possessing a badge and commandeering a boat, according to Connecticut State Police.
State police received a phone call from a resident in the Point O Woods Beach community, stating there was a white male in military-type clothing walking on Sea View Drive with a gun.
The caller also told state police that she had seen the same male earlier that day, driving what she described as a "police-type vehicle." State police later identified the vehicle parked at a Sea View Drive residence as a 2004 blue Crown Victoria, which they said was equipped with what looked like a disc and several antennas mounted on the trunk and hide-away lights.
After police spoke with several occupants of the residence at which the car was parked, Bruce W. Browne, 46, of Wolcott, identified himself as the owner, state police said. According to WFSB, Browne is the brother of former Sen. Scott Brown, but apparently spells his name differently.
Wolcott Chief Edward Stephens confirmed Browne is the Massachusetts Republican politician's brother. He could not explain why their last names are spelled differently, according to the Associated Press. A call to Scott Brown was not immediately returned and a listing for Bruce Browne went unanswered, the AP said.
When questioned by Connecticut State Police, Browne was wearing blue battle dress uniform-type pants and admitted to walking on Sea View Drive earlier that day wearing a black nylon gun belt, police said. Browne allegedly told police that the belt holster was loaded with a 9mm pistol.
Inside the vehicle, in plain view, state police said they found three loaded 9mm handguns, a black nylon duty belt with two sets of handcuffs attached, an expandable Asp, and 12 fully-loaded magazines with a total of 101 hollow point and 102 ball 9mm bullets.
Browne also had in his possession a black tactical bulletproof vest with the word "police" embroidered on the front and back, police said. The front of the vest also had a silver metal Transportation Security Administration badge, according to police.
When state police continued to question Browne, he said he had commandeered a boat earlier that day, identifying himself as a "Police/Coast Guard" official and had stopped three separate vessels off the beach community's shore. He had asked the occupants of each vessel for registration and boater safety certificates, police said. Browne told state police he had carried with him an expired Coast Guard identification card, which belonged to him when he was a reserve member of the Coast Guard.
State police contacted TSA and U.S. Coast Guard officials, both of whom searched records and said Browne was not affiliated with either agency. The U.S. Coast Guard will be conducting a follow-up investigation on Friday with regard to similar incidents that they are currently investigating.
Browne, of 42 Woodgate Drive in Wolcott, was also charged with breach of peace, interfering with a police officer and possession of a dangerous weapon in a motor vehicle.
Browne was released on $50,000 bail and will appear Aug. 22 in court in New London.