Police arrest Boynton Beach man claiming to be 'federal marshal'

Officer's body camera shows exchange between police, phony marshal with BB gun

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

John O'Grady is accused of posing as a law enforcement officer at a Best Buy in Boynton Beach.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A customer at a Best Buy store in Boynton Beach attracted the attention of police Wednesday after they noticed what appeared to be a gun on his hip and a U.S. Marshals Service lapel pin on his suit.

When asked if he was a police officer, John O'Grady, 61, told officers he was a "federal marshal."

However, when officers asked for his supervisor's name, O'Grady said the gun in his possession was "not a real weapon."

The incident was captured on a police officer's body camera.

Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said officers had been called to the Best Buy after a store employee recognized O'Grady as the same man who stole an iPhone X several days earlier.

Police were preparing to issue O'Grady a trespassing warning when they noticed the gun and lapel.

"Do you have any weapons on you, sir?" an officer asked in the video.

"Yes," O'Grady answered.

"OK, where is it at?" the officer asked.

"On my hip," O'Grady said.

"OK, are you a police officer?" the officer asked.

"I'm not," O'Grady said.

O'Grady said he didn't have any identification with him and was unable to provide police with a supervisor's telephone number, leading officers to handcuff him. O'Grady asked for an explanation.

"You're carrying a fake weapon and you're a federal marshal?" another officer asked O'Grady.

"No," O'Grady said.

"Oh, you're not?" the officer asked.

"No," O'Grady replied.

"Congratulations, you just impersonated a police officer," the officer said. "That's a federal offense."

It turned out that the gun in O'Grady's possession was actually a BB gun.

Slater said O'Grady let officers search his car, where they found the stolen iPhone.

O'Grady faces charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and grand theft.

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