The report of a gunman luring a college student into the woods that led to a police investigation at a cross-country encounter on Saturday has been doctored, the New Hartford Police Department said.
Police were called around 10 a.m. Saturday to Perry Junior High School, where the New Hartford Central School District was holding a cross-country meet. A student competing for a visiting school said he was lured into the woods by a man in camouflage with a handgun, a statement from New Hartford Police States.
The student said he was able to flee and got lost before being found by a civilian outside the school campus, police said.
After being found, 911 was called and the cross-country meet was canceled, the statement said. Participants and spectators were evacuated by police and school staff. New Hartford Police and Fire Department established a perimeter and command post and Utica Police and New York State Police were called in to assist and provide K-9 officers to search the wooded area. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office Drone Unit also participated in the search, the statement said.
The student eventually admitted to police that he made up the story and that nothing he reported was true, the statement said.
The press release says the police department will not release the student’s name because he is underage. The student has been charged with a misdemeanor by falsely reporting an incident and will be remanded to the Oneida County Probation Department, according to police.
H. Rose Schneider covers public safety, breaking news and trends for the Observer-Dispatch in Utica. Email Rose at [email protected].