OLD LYME — A 46-year-old man allegedly commandeered a boat and inspected boaters’ registrations in the Point O’ Woods area while impersonating a police and U.S. Coast Guard official on Thursday, state police said.
Bruce W. Browne was then seen walking on Sea View Drive with a gun, prompting a call to police from a concerned resident at 6:23 p.m..
Browne was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, breach of peace, interfering with a police officer and possession of a dangerous weapon in a motor vehicle. He was released on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear Aug. 22 in Superior Court in New London.
Browne is the brother of Scott Brown, former U.S. Senator from Masschusetts. It is unclear why they spell their names differently.
Police say Browne was also seen driving a “police type vehicle” in the neighborhood. State police said the vehicle had antennas mounted on the trunk and was equipped with “hide-a-way” lights.
He wore military fatigue pants. He admitted to walking on Sea View Drive wearing a black gun belt with a loaded 9mm pistol in a holster, police said.
Troopers found three loaded 9mm handguns, a black nylon duty belt with two sets of handcuffs, an expandable baton and 12 fully loaded magazines with a total of 101 hollow point and 102 ball 9mm bullets in Browne’s vehicle.
The items were in plain view, state police said.
Browne also had a black tactical bullet proof vest with “POLICE” embroidered on the front and back. A silver Transportation Security Administration badge was attached to the front of the vest, police said.
Troopers learned that Browne had commandeered a boat earlier in the day by posing as a police and Coast Guard official. He stopped three vessels off the Point O’ Woods shore to inspect the boaters’ registration and boater safety certificates, police said.
The U.S. Coast Guard and TSA told police Browne was not affiliated with either agency, police said. The Coast Guard is also investigating similar incidents.
By Hilda Munoz, Hartford Courant