A Tennessee health food store owner who claimed that three men beat him and robbed his store in an anti-gay attack was arrested for filing a false police report, according to The Paris (Tenn.) Post-Intelligencer.
Joe Williams claimed that days before Thanksgiving he was beaten by the three men outside of his store. The men, who he claimed were wearing ski masks during the attack, also allegedly robbed the store of $1,500, and doused it in gasoline. They also scrawled an anti-gay message on Williams’ forehead,and yelled anti-gay slurs at during the attack.
As is protocol with any potential hate crime, the FBI was called in to investigate.
But police don’t seem to believe Williams’ story.
Paris police Sgt. Ricky Watson said that on three separate occasions Williams failed to offer up key pieces of information known to police, according to the Post-Intelligencer.
He was arrested for filing a false police report and released on $5,000 bond. Williams is scheduled to appear in court early next month.
If Williams did indeed file a false police report, this marks a long list of hate crime hoaxes over the past year. Some media outlets, including CNN, have dubbed 2013 “The Year of the Hoax.”
Last month, a gay New Jersey waitress claimed that a family left her an anti-gay message on her receipt. Internet users rallied to the waitress’ side and raised several thousand dollars for her before the accused family came forward and proved that the waitress was lying. (RELATED: Lesbian waitress fired amid anti-gay receipt hoax accusations)
In another elaborate incident, a transgender student who worked for Vassar College’s Bias Incident Response Team was found to be behind a series of bigoted postings around campus. And earlier in 2013, hate scrawlings found at the liberal Oberlin College were discovered to have been carried out by two students, one of whom had helped campaign for President Obama.
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