Joseph Fucheck, a white Miami man who pointed a gun at a black homeowner and hurled a racist slur, has pleaded guilty, accepted probation and will be required to complete the usual set of conditions, such as mental health care, drug abuse treatment, and staying away from it. victim.
But there is one unusual requirement: he is forbidden to pose as a soldier or a policeman.
The reason: Fucheck, 60, had been around for years pose as a former SWAT chief of police and Navy SEAL, who donned a fake military uniform, bragged about his alleged medals for bravery, and even got free drinks. “Damn it, I’m carrying a gun because I’m a 35-year-old former Navy SEAL! Go see my Purple Heart!” he shouted during the June 2020 incident†
The plea deal, signed on Monday, closes the case against Fucheck, whose racist rant was caught on camera and led to his arrest for aggravated assault with a biased firearm. The charges were strengthened under Florida’s “hate crimes” law, which tightens penalties and punishes the crime with 15 years in prison.
Under the plea deal, he will be on probation for three years. On Monday, Fucheck apologized to the victim, Dwayne Wynn, for the “unprovoked, unwarranted and senseless attack”.
“You didn’t deserve that and it won’t happen again,” Fucheck said.
Wynn approved the plea deal. A civil lawsuit is expected to be settled shortly.
Fucheck’s arrest came at a time when race relations in the United States had become increasingly tense after the death of George Floyd, a black man murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee to Floyd’s throat for more than eight minutes
Wynn was chatting at his neighbor’s house when he saw Fucheck pull up, put a small billboard in his mailbox, and drove off. Wynn walked over to him and took out the card — Fucheck returned seconds later and began a “blasphemy,” accusing Wynn of not living in the house and stealing his ad, according to an arrest warrant.
The warrant said that Fucheck lunged at Wynn, demanded the return of the card and pointed his gun. After the man lowered the gun, Wynn began recording the tirade on his phone. The video shows Fucheck calling Wynn a derogatory gay name and then the n-word before driving away.
The researcher soon discovered that Fucheck had a penchant for posing as a veteran.
Detectives discovered the alleged Purple Heart when they raided Fucheck’s Miami apartment, along with naval certificates, dress uniforms and even portrait photos of Fucheck decked out as an admiral in front of an American flag. An actual retired Navy SEAL, who tried to confront Fucheck with his longstanding scam a few years ago, told the Miami Herald that the man’s fake uniform was a “total and complete mess.”
His own daughter also told the Herald that Fucheck never served in the military and has made a shrine to his fake military service in his home, complete with folded American flag. “He’s a narcissist,” she said. “He just needs to be the center of attention.”
The plea deal was accepted by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Laura Cruz. Fucheck was defended by attorney Scott Kottler and prosecuted by assistant attorney Khalil Quinan.