A 45-year-old Whitney, Texas man was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report after officials learned that he tagged his pickup truck with "Black Lives Matter" and other graffiti as part of an elaborate hoax, reports Raw Story.
Scott Lattin, 45, a disabled veteran, claimed on Sept. 8 that members of the movement against police brutality defaced his family's pickup truck because it displayed pro-cop messages and symbols. He raised nearly $6,000 to help pay for repairs to the truck after a relative set up a GoFundMe account, the report says. Additionally, car dealers and body shops offered to pitch in to help make repairs.
But the arrest came after police noticed discrepancies in video recordings of Lattin talking about the incident, Whitney Police Chief Chris Bentley told Fox4, which broke the initial story.
"We had initial video when the officers took the report and then when we saw your story on Channel 4. When we looked at those two videos, there were some differences in those and that led us to take the investigation into a different direction,” Bentley told the television news station. When officers wrote the initial report, Bentley said there was no damage to the inside of the truck. But when Fox4 arrived at the scene, Lattin revealed that the glove box cover had been ripped off and the seats slashed, writes the news outlet.
While he denied to Fox4 that he vandalized his own vehicle, his arrest warrant affidavit shows that he admitted to the damage for insurance reasons, writes the station.
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"We have so many groups that have participated and come to Whitney, Texas of all places to help these people-- and for them to have been deceived? It's just wrong!” Bentley told Fox4.
A neighbor, Levonda Bradshaw, told the news outlet that she was suspicious of the claim from the very start because the Lattins "have a fenced in property with dogs that bark at everyone that comes near there."
Lattin's 18-year-old son, Jason, who told Fox4 during the intial report that he wanted to be an officer, declined to comment about his father's arrest.
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