A man was arrested after he donned an army uniform and posed as a soldier so that he would get bumped up to first class on a flight from the Dominican Republic to New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, the New York Post reported Monday.
Rock Diaz, 22, of Long Island, has a history of pretending to be a military man to get VIP treatment, according to police -- he once even smooth-talked his way into a jetliner's cockpit, where he was photographed sitting at the controls.
He was busted when a sharp-eyed customs official at JFK asked him his rank -- and he gave an answer that did not match the insignia on the uniform he was wearing.
But Diaz -- in camouflage fatigues and sporting a military-style buzz cut -- allegedly insisted that he was the real thing when questioned after getting off an American Airlines flight.
Although he was wearing a standard-issue army combat uniform and cap, he could not produce a military ID.
Diaz -- who sources said never served in the military -- also had a black POW patch on his sleeve, which an actual soldier would never wear in that spot, the sources said. His dog tags were comically engraved with the words, "USA Marines Corp."
The Spanish-speaking Diaz said that he did nothing wrong and blamed any confusion on a language barrier.
"I never asked to get upgraded. The stewardess offered me a new seat, and I asked why. They explained it to me in English, and I did not understand," Diaz said. "I moved where they told me to sit."
He was charged with second-degree impersonation.
American Airlines did not return calls for comment.