Sheridan police arrested a man after he admitted cutting himself and making up a story about being stabbed by someone who asked if he was a “neo-Nazi.”
Joshua Witt, 26, told police on Aug. 16 that he was stabbed in the hand by a man who approached him outside the Steak ‘n Shake restaurant at 3502 River Point Parkway.
Witt told police the man asked if he was a neo-Nazi and then tried to stab him. Witt claimed his hand was injured as he tried to protect himself. Witt, a U.S. Navy boatswain’s mate who lives in San Diego, posted photos of his injured hand on his Facebook page and shared the fake story about being stabbed.
Witt’s report followed blanket news coverage of a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent. One woman who was protesting the Unite the Right demonstration was killed when a white supremacist drove into the crowd.
Police became skeptical of Witt’s story when they reviewed surveillance video and saw no one running from the scene. They also found a transient who lives in the area who matched the description Witt gave, but cleared him as a suspect.
Video from a nearby sporting goods store showed Witt purchasing a small knife.
When police confronted Witt with that information on Aug. 24, he admitted accidentally cutting himself with the knife while in his car parked in front of the store.
Witt was booked on a charge of false reporting to authorities and released. A conviction on the charge can result in a fine of up to $2,650 and up to one year in jail.