A 45-year-old Whitney, Texas, man was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report after officials concluded that it was he who wrote “Black Lives Matter” and other graffiti on his pickup truck as part of a 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-police 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 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 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 home, Lattin revealed that the glove box cover had been ripped off and the seats slashed, writes the news outlet.
At the time of his arrest, he denied to Fox4 that he had vandalized his own vehicle, but the affidavit that officers prepared in order to obtain an arrest warrant shows that Lattin admitted to damaging the vehicle for insurance reasons, Fox4 reports.
“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 station that she was suspicious of the claim from the beginning because the Lattins have a fenced property with dogs that bark at anyone who comes near.
Lattin’s 18-year-old son, Jason, who told Fox4 during the initial report that he wanted to become a police officer, declined to comment on his father’s arrest.