09/01/2021 - False Social Media Posts

Over the weekend, 2 adult females made lengthy Facebook posts, which were shared numerous times, alleging they were victims of an Asian male attempting to assault and/or kidnap them at 2 different locations in the Boiling Springs area. The first poster alleged her incident occurred in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Boiling Springs, and the second poster stated her incident happened at Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park behind Boiling Springs High School while she was there with her small child. Neither female filed an incident report with this agency. Despite that fact, one of our investigators with our special victims unit spent the last 2 days investigating these claims. Video surveillance from Wal-Mart proves the alleged assault/kidnapping incident never happened. The video shows that female walking to her car, putting her bags inside, sitting there for approx. one minute, and then leaving the parking lot without anyone ever approaching her or her vehicle. When our investigator contacted the second female, she admitted she made up her post about the park incident and got the idea from the Wal-Mart poster. Based on some of the comments on each post, this agency felt it was important to address this issue before it got blown even further out of proportion. It is also a good opportunity to remind the citizens of this county that if they are the victim of a crime, they must file an incident report with us; a social media post isnít an alternative means of reporting. The time and effort our SVU investigator expended these past 2 days would have been far better spent investigating the claims of legitimate victims. If either Facebook poster had actually filed an incident report, they would have been subject to the felony provision of the law outlined below:

SECTION 16-17-722. Filing of false police reports; knowledge; offense; penalties.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly file a false police report.

(B) A person who violates subsection (A) by falsely reporting a felony is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(C) A person who violates subsection (A) by falsely reporting a misdemeanor is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be imprisoned not more than thirty days or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

(D) In imposing a sentence under this section, the judge may require the offender to pay restitution to the investigating agency to offset costs incurred in investigating the false police report.