Did Tennessee Shop Owner Make Up Hate Crime Story?

Police have arrested the man who had claimed to be victim of a violent robbery.

BY Lucas Grindley

December 30 2013 10:00 AM ET

A Tennessee man who told police he'd been attacked in a hate crime at his health food store is now the one being charged.

The Paris Post-Intelligencer reports that Joe Williams, owner of Healthy Thyme in Paris, Tenn., was charged with filing a false report. He had told police of a robbery in which he was beaten unconscious, only to wake and find three men lighting his store on fire. He said they had written "fag" on his forehead.

Now the Post-Intelligencer reports that Williams's story turned up inconsistencies:

Paris Police Sgt. Ricky Watson said Williams failed to bring up certain facts known to investigators on three different occasions.

“He was given three opportunities to disclose that information, and he chose not to,” Watson said.

That leaves investigators trying to determine how much of Williams’ story might have been true.

Tags: Crime

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