Police arrested a Louisville, Kentucky, mother after she wrote a harrowing Facebook post about a near-abduction in a Walmart parking lot that involved her son. After she gave tearful interviews to the media, police revealed that the woman faked the entire story — and only found out after they'd reviewed surveillance footage.
What are the details?
Emily Lyons, 31, wrote a viral Facebook post earlier in September in which she described a harrowing incident involving her and her son at a local Walmart.
In her post, Lyons said that she was loading groceries into her car when a woman approached her to tell her how cute her 10-month-old son Jaxson was.
Lyons said that in that moment, a man came up and attempted to steal her son from the grocery cart, and was only unsuccessful because her child's thighs were chubby, and the man had trouble extricating the child from the cart.
"I could in those seconds I could see my son sitting in a cold, dark room, in dirty clothes and diaper, being drugged so he wouldn’t cry, waiting for someone to offer the right price," she wrote. "I have never felt so helpless."
She said that when the man was unable to get her son out of the cart, the man and the woman — whom Lyons described as in their 40s — fled in a four-door black car.
"To that man and woman, may you never be successful in your attempts. I feel so violated, I feel so defeated, I feel so let down by the human race," Lyons added.
"[The man] walked past, never stopped walking and just reached in hoping for it to be an easy snatch," Lyons told WHAS-TV in an interview about the alleged incident.
"It happened so quick I didn't know how to respond," she added. "I didn't yell for help because by the time I could even muster words to come out of my mouth, they were gone."
Lyons explained that she never could have imagined that her post would have reached such a broad audience, and that she didn't "want to be Facebook famous" over the alleged incident.
"It was not my intention at all. I don't want to be Facebook famous for this," she told WHAS. "But if it's reaching people and they understand that it's happening in our backyard, that's what I wanted."
"How sad it is that our children have to grow up in this world where they may or may not come home if someone's not watching them carefully and they're not taking precautions themselves," she added.
What about the police report?
Lyons also filed a police report regarding the alleged incident, and the Louisville Metro Police Department launched an investigation.
The department reviewed surveillance footage of Lyons' experience in the parking lot, and determined that no one — male or female — had tried to take Lyons' son that day or any other day.
According to WAVE-TV, Lyons has an October court date in connection with the incident. The station also reported that Lyons "agreed that the incident did not occur," according to her citation, and faces a charge of filing a false police report.
Lyons may also face a mental health evaluation in connection with the false report.
What did the police say?
The Louisville Metro Police Department's Facebook page issued an update of their own last week.
It read, "Just a reminder to be cautious when getting information about public safety from social media posts. LMPD has charged a woman for filing a false police report after she called police claiming her child was nearly abducted from a Hillview parking lot this past weekend."
"She then took to social media about the incident, causing much concern among the public," the update continued. "Investigators reviewed surveillance video and determined that no attempted abduction took place."
"Social media is a powerful tool to get out information about public safety, but it’s important to remember that not everything reported is accurate," the posting warned. "We do our best at LMPD to alert the public to threats to public safety and will continue to post those threats on our official social media pages. If you see a threat in the public, the best thing to do is call 911 to alert police immediately."
(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)