Crime

July 23, 2014

Man posing as fire marshal at Grapevine bar put on probation

Charles Brandon, 44, of Savannah, posed as a fire marshal in 2012 to get into the Glass Cactus bar in Grapevine and receive free drinks.

A man who posed as a fire marshal in 2012 to get into a Grapevine bar to avoid paying a $10 cover charge and to get free drinks was sentenced Wednesday to two years’ probation.

Charles Brandon, 44, who lives in the Denton County community of Savannah, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of false identification as a peace officer.

He was sentenced to probation with deferred adjudication, which means if he successfully completes the terms of probation his conviction will not stay on his record. If he violates any terms, he could be sent to jail.

He claimed to be a fire marshal with Dallas County Fire and Rescue and flashed a badge to employees at the Glass Cactus, a nightclub at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Centerm, and to a Grapevine fire official, Grapevine police said.

Brandon was first spotted at the Glass Cactus on New Year’s Eve in 2012.

“Grapevine’s fire marshal was there that night when someone said that there was another Grapevine fire marshal already there,” Grapevine police officer Sam Shemwell told the Star-Telegram in January 2013. “The city’s fire marshal found him, contacted him and asked him about it. He said at the time that they just misunderstood him and that he never said he was from Grapevine. He said he was from Dallas County and showed a badge. The real fire marshal was so busy that once he saw the badge, he just went on with his work that night.”

A few weeks later, when the Grapevine fire marshal was there again, Glass Cactus employees told him that that the “other” fire marshal was also at the bar.

“The suspect was again contacted and showed the badge,” Shemwell said.

Soon afterward, the Grapevine fire marshal called Grapevine police. Brandon was escorted out of the bar and acknowledged that he wasn’t a fire marshal. Employees told authorities that he had been to the club several times

As a condition of his probation, Brandon is not permitted at the Glass Cactus or on other Gaylord Texan property.

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