Lee Sheriff warns of Facebook hoaxes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Sheriff warns of Facebook hoaxes

Sheriff Rachals (right) and Chief Deputy Harris Sheriff Rachals (right) and Chief Deputy Harris
Walmart on Ledo Road Walmart on Ledo Road
Sheriff Rachals Sheriff Rachals

A Facebook post over the weekend claimed that women were being repeatedly attacked by three men at the Walmart on Ledo Road's parking lot.

Lee County's Sheriff said the post is not true, and feels that hoax on Social Media could cause a panic. 

Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals says he is consulting with the District Attorney's office,  and considering criminal charges, to stop hoax social media posts.

The Facebook post said recently in the Ledo Road Walmart Parking lot a woman had to pull her gun to stop an attack by three men, threatening rape.  And that there had been other similar attacks. Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said quickly he and his office began to get calls.

"We need to stop that stuff.  We don't need to be putting it out there." Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said "No sir, there is no truth. Not any attacks at Walmart in Lee County or anywhere else that I know of.  I checked with Albany.  They said they have not seen that reported to them either."

Rachals said people came to him in church, and said they were scared.  So much reaction to the false post that the Sheriff said he assigned an investigator to talk to the person who posted it, and is looking to see if criminal charges might be filed.

"We're investigating that at this time. And we will be making contact with this person. And there is possible charges could be pending on this person.  Because they sent out such a panic information that shouldn't be sent out there without checking to make sure it was true or not true," Rachals said.

Sheriff Rachals said that if this kind of crime had happened, his office would have immediately sent out a warning to make people aware.  He wants people to check with law enforcement first and make sure it is true, before panicking people with social media.

Lee County District Attorney Lewis Lamb, and he says he will look at the investigation's conclusion, but he says he initially he doesn't see any sufficient basis for criminal charges. 

But Lamb said he agrees this false post caused an unnecessary uproar.

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