On April 28, 2017, PCSO deputies received information that 26-year-old Kyle Barwan of Lakeland, who was previously arrested and charged twice for stolen valor, again misrepresented himself as a military member to try to get money from a victim.
Barwan was originally arrested on January 25, 2017, in Hillsborough County on a PCSO warrant for stolen valor, and was later transferred to the Polk County Jail. While still in jail, on February 20th, he was additionally charged with Soliciting Funds/Misrepresenting Military Service (F-3) (see previously sent releases).
He is now back in the Polk County Jail, being held on no bond, for:
- Soliciting Funds/Misrepresenting Military Service (F-3)
- VOP - Fraud (F-3)
- VOP - Tampering with Witness - (F-2)
- VOP - Soliciting Funds/Misrepresenting Military Service (F-3)
The following is an excerpt from his most recent affidavit, and is self-explanatory:
On 04/28/2017 PCSO deputies received information regarding the complaint of male portraying himself to be a member of the armed forces (Army Green Beret) and soliciting contributions to assist the homeless.
According to the victim, on 04/26/2017 at approximately 0815 hours she was at Munn Park in downtown Lakeland when she was approached by Kyle Barwan. Barwan told her and another woman standing there that he was home from the military working with the homeless while he was on leave. He advised he was a member of the Green Beret and that he was getting redeployed for 18 months when he went back. When he asked for money to help the homeless, the other woman gave him some money. Barwan told her she could donate too. She stated she felt like she was being set up so she didn't give Barwan any money.
The victim located Barwan on Facebook and after locating other articles showing he had been arrested for impersonating military members, she posted one of the articles on his Facebook page. She stated Barwan then blocked her from his account. She felt that something should be done about Barwan continually doing this. She contacted local authorities.
Probable cause exists that Kyle Barwan intentionally misrepresented himself as an active duty member of the United States Army while he solicited charitable funds from the witness. This in violation of Florida State Statute 812.312 which prohibits such actions and further advises anyone who violates this statue commits a felony of the third degree.
Contact was made with Probation Officer Pennington who advised she was assigned Kyle Barwan. Deputies further learned PO Pennington had recently received two other complaints regarding Barwan doing the same activity. Pennington recovered written statements regarding both incidents, one of which was already reported to the Lakeland Police Dept. 17-8918.
Kyle C Barwan was on felony probation at the time of this incident. Barwan's probation began on 04/13/2017 and was set to conclude on 04/12/2022. His probation case number is 17-0732. Barwan is also being charged with a violating his probation. Part of Barwan's probation is regarding a similar incident.