GPD: Attempted child abduction report was false

STAFF REPORT :::

The Griffin Police Department has determined a report of an attempted child abduction was false.

According to a press release issued by Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates, officers of the GPD Uniform Patrol Division responded to a call at approximately 3:37 p.m. Sept. 20, reporting an attempted child abduction had just occurred.

Officers responded to the scene and contacted the individual who reported the alleged incident to Spalding E911.

Officials say the callers photographed a tag on a vehicle at the scene and described the vehicle and driver as being the suspect in an attempted child abduction.

“This incident was immediately investigated to the fullest, utilizing manpower from not only the Griffin Police Department, but also from the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office (as the callers alluded to this suspect being the same as one previously sought by the Sheriff’s Department),” the release said.

A potential suspect was identified, and voluntarily submitted to questioning.

“After a thorough investigation by the Griffin Criminal Investigative Division, it was discovered that there had been no attempted abduction of a small child. The reporting party believed that the vehicle and suspect that they had witnessed at that location matched the description of the report on the news the previous night, but no other facts or circumstances supported the initial accusations,” the report said. “While reports such as these may begin with the best of intentions, reports are taken seriously by the Griffin Police Department, as well as other local law enforcement agencies and it is of the utmost importance that such reports are accurate and not embellished or, more seriously, created as a deliberate hoax. These actions by the reporting parties were unacceptable were a violation of law. The swearing of false statements are punishable by Georgia law O.C.G.A. 16-10-71 and false statements O.C.G.A. 16-10-20. The Griffin Police Department Criminal Investigative Division as well as the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating the possibility of other false reports of child abduction within the city and county. While both agencies appreciate the efforts of the public to assist it is important to give information that is accurate, based solely on the facts.”

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