Richland County, SC (WLTX) - A security guard working at a Northeast Richland County neighborhood is being accused of making up a story of mutilated animals.
Wayne Alexander Crosby, 43, is charged with obstruction of justice.
Sheriff Leon Lott said Wednesday that Crosby made up a story that animals had been killed and mutilated in the community in an effort to gain attention.
At the time, Crosby was working as a captain with Sizemore Security, which handles most routine law enforcement concerns in the Spring Valley Community. Lott said Crosby has admitted to making up the story.
"It's a sad case that someone wanted to do something like this," Lott said.
Lott said Crosby filed a false report that a number of animals had been mutilated in the Spring Valley Subdivision. In one case, Crosby led a woman living in the Spring Valley community to believe that someone had cut off the heads to two of her cats; in another instance, Crosby had said a dog was nailed to a tree and skinned alive.
Lott says the cats did die, but were not killed by humans. He also said there was no evidence a dog ever died.
When reports of the incidents began to surface in media reports, Lott assigned an investigator to check out the claims. The investigator ultimately determined that the story did not match the facts, and confronted Crosby with the evidence.
"I think he underestimated what our efforts were going to be," Lott said.
Lott said he's upset that this case stirred up so much fear in the community.
"People can rest easy now that there's no one preying on our animals," Lott said.