String of false reports aggravate police; should the punishment -

String of false reports aggravate police; should the punishment be stricter?

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

ST. LOUIS ( -- News 4 is staying on top of several cases where alleged victims of crimes have stopped cooperating with police and, in some cases, made the entire story up.

In the last two weeks alone there have been three cases in Clayton, Freeburg and on the campus of St. Louis University where the stories haven’t turned out to be what is originally reported to police. 

But the penalty for falsifying reports and wasting police resources turns out to be only a misdemeanor- a fact that’s very frustrating for police.

Residents also can’t believe they were tricked into being concerned about a “fake police officer” that didn’t even exist.

Police say the Clayton woman who claimed a man hit her in the face and dragged her from her car admitted she made the whole thing up. A fabrication that has cost Clayton police time and money

“Well certainly it takes a lot of resources,” said Chief Thomas Byrne. “We had several officers and detectives working on this really for a day and a half.”

But despite the manpower and money wasted, the maximum punishment is only six months in jail.

Some people say filing a false police report should have harsher consequences.

The Clayton police chief says the case has been handed over to the prosecuting attorney’s office.

They’ll make the decision on whether the woman is formally charged.

Then there’s the case in St. Clair County where a woman claims she was tied up with a telephone cord and sexually assaulted.

Now police say that victim is no longer cooperating with them.

Add to that list the woman who says she was sexually assaulted in a parking garage on St. Louis University’s campus. She has also withdrew cooperation with police.

Police tell News 4 while the victims are no longer cooperating, they are still investigating.



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