A man who claimed he was robbed in a parking lot has been charged with filing a false report after police learned he wasn’t telling the whole story.
The suspect, Barry Harold Austin, 54, was bound to the grand jury by Judge Bill Locke on the charge of filing a false report. The crime is a Class C felony punishable by three to six years in prison if he is convicted.
His charges come after he called police to report he had been robbed in a public parking lot off South Chancery Street.
“In his statement he gave to responding officers, he stated that during a chance meeting with two persons, one of which was known to him as Keith, he was robbed at knife-point of an unspecified amount of money,” said McMinnville police detective Tony Jenkins in his warrant against Austin.
The suspect went on to say that he suffered a cut on his hand during the robbery. The report prompted lawmen to begin an investigation. However, the probe was cut short when detectives discovered Austin had not told them the entire truth.
“Upon further investigation I discovered that the incident was a drug deal gone bad, something which Mr. Austin had failed to mention in his initial report given to responding officers,” Jenkins noted.
The fact Austin’s false report caused police to expend manpower and resources to investigate his false claim made the offense a felony.
Austin’s false claim aside, he could still be the victim of a crime himself. Even if he was robbed during an illegal drug deal, the robbery is still against the law.