Police in Grand Forks, N.D. have announced that a gay man who claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime at a University of North Dakota fraternity party fabricated his entire story.
The man accused of inventing the latest bogus hate crime is Haakon Gisvold, reports local ABC affiliate WDAZ-TV.
In August, Gisvold, who is not a University of North Dakota student, alleged that members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity threw him out of a party because he is gay. Gisvold also claimed that Lambda Chi members also beat him, choked him, stripped him and robbed him — all while shouting anti-gay insults. He said he hid in some bush wearing only his underwear until some kind soul came along with some clothes.
“I just want those guys to learn from this,” Gisvold, 18, said at the time, according to a gullible and sympathetic Huffington Post story. “They could go to jail, sure, but they could go to jail and then come out with the same mindset that they don’t like homosexuals.”
After an investigation that included identifying 150 possible witnesses, investigators concluded that exactly zero evidence exists to support any of Gisvold’s hate-crime allegations.
“Throughout the investigation we looked at many different angles and many different things and we uncovered some of those details,” University of North Dakota police spokesman Dan Weigel told WDAZ late last week.
Investigators are so certain that Gisvold’s story is false that they have asked the county prosecutor to file a criminal charge of providing false information to police against Gisvold.
However, county prosecutor David Jones indicated that he will not pursue any charges against Gisvold.
“While probable cause may exist to conclude that such an offense took place, at this time there is not a substantial likelihood of conviction, as such pursuing a criminal charge is not deemed to be in the interest of justice,” Jones pontificated in a statement obtained by WDAZ.
Members of Lambda Chi Alpha are relieved at the outcome — and happy to get off probation.
“Throughout this whole time it’s been a real stressful situation,” frat member Eric Hanson told the ABC station. “I mean everybody was getting phone calls from their grandparents, their aunts, uncles, their parents asking: What did you guys do?”
Hanson also explained his version of the events which led Gisvold to accuse the frat of a hate crime.
“When I walked out of the house, basically all I saw was an altercation, someone being belligerent, not wanting to leave even though they were causing problems at the house,” Hanson explained.
When Gisvold accused Lambda Chi members of the anti-gay hate crime, University of North Dakota president Robert O. Kelley emailed students explaining that, even though he and, in fact, no one in the administration knew the details of the fake hate crime, he was really disturbed and disappointed.
“Violent behavior of this nature is not tolerated at UND,” Kelley sternly wrote. “Any student or student organization found to have violated the UND Code of Student Life will be subject to disciplinary action.”
The tall tale police say Gisvold told is the latest in a long series of hate crime hoaxes perpetrated by gay people.
Earlier this year, for example, a 21-year-old man in the small town of Delta, Utah grabbed national headlines for staging several anti-gay attacks against himself. The man, Rick Jones, said he said he was assaulted and had “Die Fag” carved into his arm while closing up his family’s pizzeria. He claimed his home was spray-painted and that somebody threw a Molotov cocktail through his bedroom window. The attacks, Jones told local reporters, kept happening because of his homosexuality. Police concluded that Jones staged the attacks because of inconsistencies in the evidence he presented. Eventually, Jones cracked and confessed. (RELATED: Yet Another ‘Anti-Gay’ Hate Crime Was A Big Hoax)
Also this year, Cincinnati gay rights activist Adam Hoover was charged with a misdemeanor after he falsely said he was kidnapped and put into the trunk of his car. (RELATED: Gay Rights Activist Fakes Own Kidnapping)
In 2013, 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. The man, Joe Williams, said the attackers were wearing ski masks. They robbed the store of $1,500. They doused it in gasoline. They also scrawled an anti-gay message on Williams’ forehead and yelled anti-gay slurs. Local police didn’t believe Williams, however, and arrested him for filing a false police report. (RELATED: Cops Say Man Falsified Police Report In Alleged Anti-Gay Attack)
Also in 2013, a lesbian waitress in New Jersey, Dayna Morales, claimed that she received an anti-gay message from a family on a dinner receipt. The message read, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life.” But the accused family came forward a couple of weeks after the story was first reported, saying that they did not leave the message and actually left a 20 percent tip. From there, the story weaved by Morales, a former Marine unraveled. Friends came forward to say she lied about having cancer and about being the lone survivor in a bombing in Afghanistan. In fact, Morales was dishonorably discharged from the Marines for failing to show up to drills. She never saw combat. (RELATED: Lesbian Waitress Fired Amid Anti-Gay Receipt Hoax Accusations)
And while it wasn’t a gay hate crime hoax, who could forget former University of Wyoming student Meghan Lanker-Simons, who perpetrated a social media hoax wherein she authored an unsigned 2013 posting on a Facebook page called UW Crushes reading: “I want to hatefuck Meg Lanker Simons so hard. That chick runs her liberal mouth all the time and doesn’t care who knows it. I think its so hot and makes me angry. One night with me and shes gonna be a good Republican bitch.” There was a big rally. A school official denounced “rape culture.” Lanker-Simons hit the feminist warpath before eventually pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of interfering with a peace officer. In the fall of 2013, Lanker-Simons enrolled at the Gonzaga University School of Law. (RELATED: Wyoming ‘Hate-F***’ Hoaxer Adds To Checkered Criminal Past, Now Attends Law School)