Federal Prosecutors Alerted to Viral Video at Oxford Valley Mall
If it’s anything like when I was in high school, there are always plenty of interesting characters at the Oxford Valley Mall. (Once I saw a dude with three-foot mohawk spikes!) And while shopping on Black Friday at the Oxford Valley Mall, Northampton’s Ryan Berk saw a man in army fatigues.
Much like a big Eagles dork can spot a bootleg jersey from across the stadium, Berk — formerly a sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan — says he noticed several problems with the supposed veteran’s uniform. Berk says the man displayed awards he couldn’t have earned. He told the Bucks County Courier Times he warned a store employee not to give the man a military discount. Then, in the Courier, this great sentence by Jo Ciavaglia:
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.
Twenty minutes! I feel bad for that kid — he deserves a medal of some sort. Berk filmed the confrontation, and later posted it to YouTube. It since has caught fire.
The video got most of the attention after it was picked up by the YouTube channel of Guardian of Valor, a group dedicated to exposing military fakes. At posting, that video has about 2 million views. It’s gone wild on conservative news sites. There’s a longer version on Ryan Berk’s YouTube.
U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-8, of Bucks County tells the Courier he’s alerted the U.S. Attorney’s office of the video. Falsely saying you’re a veteran is not a crime. Congress passed a law making it a crime to falsely display medals in 2005, but the Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional in 2012. But a revised 2013 version of the Stolen Valor Act made falsely displaying unearned military honors to get store discounts (or some sort of tangible benefit) against the law.
Which means: If the man confronted in the video used fake military medals to get a discount at The Walking Company at the Oxford Valley Mall, he could be prosecuted — for about the stupidest crime one could ever be prosecuted for. Fans of funny crime can salute Ryan Berk for serving us yet again.