False police report leads to serious consequences
A Timely Warning went out to the Eastern Michigan University community Thursday night regarding a female student who was reportedly the victim of an attempted armed robbery. About an hour later, an update to the Timely Warning was released stating that the female student had recanted her statement.
The female student originally reported that an African American male approached her from behind while she was walking on the north side of the bus shelter in the Rynearson parking lot. She originally told police that the African American male stuck her in the back of the head and knocked her down before rummaging through her backpack. An hour after filing her report, the female student recanted these statements.
Eastern’s Police Chief Bob Heighes said making a false police report like this is a serious offense.
“We are sending charges to the prosecutor’s office,” Heighes said. “This is not something we take lightly…It can create unnecessary concern for safety.”
Police are still waiting on the prosecutor’s office to hand down official charges.
Heighes warned students to think carefully before making a false report.
“There are serious repercussions,” he said.
According to Deputy Chief of Police Jeff Nesmith, filing a false police report is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The female student who filed the false police report may face more than just criminal charges.
“Filing a false police report is taken very seriously both by DPS and by [the Student Conduct and Community Standards office], especially in cases where DPS has issued a Timely Warning to the community,” Jesus Hernandez, director of Student Conduct and Community Standards at EMU said.
Hernandez said the information provided to DPS by a student reporting an alleged crime is then shared with the Student Conduct and Community Standards office to be addressed under the Student Conduct Code.
“Specifically, the behavior is addressed under the Code’s provision addressing Falsification, Section V.F.1. Once the case has been addressed via the conduct process and the student has been held responsible for a violation, then the possible consequences may include suspension or permanent dismissal from the university,” he said.