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False Report of a Child Abduction Attempt Made in Griffin

GRIFFIN - Griffin Police Department Uniform Patrol Division responded to a call at approximately 3:37 pm of an attempted child abduction that had just taken place. Officers responded to the scene and talked with those that reported the incident to dispatch. The callers took a photograph of a tag on a vehicle that was at the scene and described that vehicle and driver as a 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 investigation revealed a potential suspect who voluntarily came in for questioning in regards to the allegations made by the reporting person/s.

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 the location matched the description of the report on the news the previous night but no other facts or circumstances supported the initial accusations.

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. When inaccurate reports or false reports are made it diverts law enforcement resources from legitimate tasks and harms the integrity of any real case that might be related to the report.

These actions by the reporting parties were unacceptable and 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.

Submitted 9.21.18