Imagine that, another phony hate crime.
A Utah man who alleged assailants carved homophobic slurs into his arms, robbed his pizza restaurant and firebombed his house has admitted faking the attacks, authorities said.
Now the question is whether Rick Jones, 22, of Delta will be prosecuted for reporting false crimes, Millard County Sheriff Robert Dekker told CNN affiliate KSL.
“The investigation has come to an end today with the admission of Richard (Rick) L. Jones Jr. to having staged all of the incidents,” the Sheriff’s Office and County Attorney’s office said in a Tuesday statement.
Dekker said he didn’t know why Jones staged the crimes. Jones’ lawyer, Brett Tolman, told KSL that Jones asked him to contact the Sheriff’s Office and call off the investigation.
They don’t know why? Um, maybe he has an agenda?
“At this point we are working with investigators and with the community at trying to point out and recognize that what this really amounts to is a very serious cry for help by an individual … who is gay and is in need of mental health treatment, which he is getting,” Tolman said. “I don’t think it was an intention on the part of our client to do anything criminal.”
People who donated money for Jones will be reimbursed, he said, noting that the fundraisers were not Jones’ idea.
In a story that ran on CNN.com in June, Jones said he was first attacked outside his family-owned pizza restaurant and woke up with the words “die” carved into one arm and the word “f*g” in the other. The restaurant was robbed twice and homophobic slurs were painted on the eatery and the home he shares with his parents, he said.