Police charging man who said he was robbed with filing a false report

By FAITH HUFFMAN,| News-Telegram News Editor

April 9, 2008 - Police anticipate filing charges soon against a man who reported being robbed April 1 while walking down the street.

After several days of investigation and one arrest, the man who made the report finally admitted to police that the money was lost during a drug transaction, not a robbery as he'd originally reported.

A 24-year-old Sulphur Springs man who was arrested Monday afternoon on the downtown square on a warrant for aggravated robbery was released from jail Tuesday and the felony robbery charge dropped, according to Sulphur Springs Police Investigator David Gilmore.

The suspect alleged that on April 1, while walking down Putman Street, two men on bicycles rode toward him. One of the bicycle riders, he alleged, pulled out what appeared to be a small pistol and demanded money. The victim said after he handed over a large bill, the two men rode off on their bikes.

After interviews, a warrant was issued for the 24-year-old Sulphur Springs man, who was identified by the complainant as the one who robbed him.

But police continued their investigation into the case, interviewing the suspect and victim again, as well as several other people. Eventually, the complainant admitted to police that not only was there no gun involved, but he hadn't been robbed at all.

"The complainant was ripped-off during a drug transaction ... losing $100 during the transaction," Gilmore said.

Police are now charging the man with filing a false report.

"We take aggravated robbery seriously, one of the most severe of all violent crimes," Gilmore said. "We spent 2 1/2 days investigating this. That's 2 1/2 days taken away from other offenses. There was no robbery in this case, and as far as I'm concerned, this was basically a waste of time for the police department and criminal justice system."

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