Report: Scott Brown’s Brother Was Arrested for Impersonating a Police Officer

It's a strange tale out of Connecticut this morning.


Image courtesy of Connecticut State Police

Out of Old Lyme, Connecticut comes the very odd story of former Senator Scott Brown’s half brother, Bruce W. Browne, who was reportedly arrested last night for impersonating a police officer and using his fake credentials to “commandeer” a boat. It’s a fascinating tale, less for its newsworthiness than its sheer strangeness.

According to the Hartford Courant, concerned citizens called police when they say Bruce W. Browne of Wolcott, Connecticut was walking down the street wearing military fatigue pants, and a gun belt with a loaded 9mm pistol. He was also seen driving a Crown Vic with antennas and hide-away lights installed on it, in which they 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” as well as “a black tactical bullet proof vest with ‘POLICE’ embroidered on the front and back” and a silver Transportation Security Administration badge.

It gets weirder:

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 Courant doesn’t identify him as the brother of Scott Brown, but CBS Boston is reporting the connection, noting that Bruce Browne has spelled his last name differently in news reports for years. Meanwhile, reports a statement from Brown that distances him from his brother:

“For those of you who are asking about the news reports on my estranged half brother, I only know as much as you. I read about it in the news this morning,’’ Scott Brown said.

He added, “As you many of you know, my mom and my late father were married and divorced four times each. Unfortunately, we were not close as a family. These are serious charges and he will need to answer them. I feel badly for his children and I am thankful that no one was injured.”

Browne received some media attention in the immediate wake of Scott Brown’s improbably 2010 victory, saying he was considering running for office in Connecticut. According to a NECN report at the time, he worked setting up security systems for Northeast Surveillance and Communications. He’s seven years younger than his famous half brother, born to Brown’s father and his second wife. In Brown’s memoir Against All Odds, he writes of the jealousy and disconnect he felt as a child when visiting his half brother and sister at his father’s new house in Newburyport:

There were plenty of bedrooms, for him, his wife, and their two children, but no spare room for me. The rare nights when I did stay over, I bunked on the couch with a pillow and a blanket. My father often left me with Robyn and Bruce, under the theory that we were all his kids, and thus siblings, and so of course we would play together and get along. But I didn’t see it that way. They lived in this nice house; they went on vacations, to the beach, to Disneyland. I had never even been to Boston.

Scott Brown’s relationship with his father improved somewhat over the years until the elder Brown’s death last December, and Bruce has said that he keeps in regular contact with his brother, too, though that’s in contrast to Brown’s statement today.

Bruce Browne has been charged with impersonating a police officer, breaching the peace, interfering with a police officer and possessing a dangerous weapon in a motor vehicle. He was released on $50,000 bail. Scott Brown, by point of contrast, said this week he’ll announce whether he plans to run for governor in the near future.

This post was updated at 2:00 p.m. with the statement from Scott Brown.