LI man charged with posing as soldier

A Freeport man who tried to upgrade to first class by posing as a soldier has been slapped with criminal charges, officials said Monday.

Rock Diaz, 22, of Frankel Avenue was released on his own recognizance after his arraignment Saturday in Queens Criminal Court, the Queens district attorney's office said.

Diaz was wearing a U.S. Army camouflage uniform with a POW patch, an American flag patch and dog tags when he arrived at Kennedy Airport from the Dominican Republic Friday night, according to the criminal complaint and Ron Marisco, a spokesman for the Port Authority, which operates the airport.

A U.S. Customs agent asked Diaz if he was in the military, the complaint said, and he responded: "Yes. I'm in the Army."

But Diaz could not produce military identification and could not answer questions about his rank, where he was stationed and what his Army job was, the complaint said.

"The defendant stated, in sum or substance, 'I'm sorry. I'm not in the military. I only did this to get upgraded to first class,' " the complaint said.

It was not known whether Diaz got the upgrade, and American Airlines declined to say. But Marisco said the charges were for impersonating a member of the military, not falsely trying to get an upgrade.

Diaz was charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal impersonation. He is due back in court Aug. 4.

He has no phone number listed in his name and could not be reached.

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