Sheriff: Man’s story about attack by panther-like animal was false

Local News

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCBD) – It was a fake! The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office has filed charges against a Hemingway man who reported being attacked by a wild animal Tuesday night.

Rickey Wesley Lynch, 33, claimed he was attacked by a wild animal – possibly a panther – while walking down the road in his neighborhood.

The man said he saw a cub cross the road and then felt something grab the back of his pant leg and dragged him to the ground. During the alleged incident, he said the animal pulled him into a ditch and would not let go, ripping his right shirt sleeve in the process.

Lynch said the animal, which he described as waist high with a tail long enough to drag on the ground, eventually ran away while making crying sounds.

He was interviewed by investigators Wednesday afternoon after admitting his story about the encounter was false.

Deputies and officials with the Department of Natural Resources spent hours patrolling nearby roads looking for an animal the resembled his description.

Lynch is charged with filing a false police report and breach of peace.

He is being held at the Georgetown County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

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