Police say McCain Campaign Volunteer Made Up Attack Story

October 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

ashley-todd.jpgA McCain-Palin campaign volunteer who claimed she was robbed and cut by a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama has confessed to making up the story, Pittsburgh police Assistant Chief Maurita Bryant said this afternoon.

Ashley Todd, 20, of College Station, Texas, is charged with filing a false police report. She told investigators she has had psychological issues in the past and Bryant said detectives are working with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office to determine whether Todd should be released on the misdemeanor charge or taken to a hospital for evaluation.

“She just opened up and said she wanted to tell the truth,” Bryant said. “She was upset with the media for blowing this into a political firestorm.”

She told Detectives J.R. Smith and Scott Evans varying stories about how she ended up with two black eyes and a backward letter “B” etched onto her right cheek late Wednesday. She said she remembers being in her car, driving around the city, and seeing the letter on her cheek when she looked into the rearview mirror. She said she immediately thought of Barack Obama when she saw the “B,” Bryant said.

“She said she doesn’t remember doing it but knows it must have been her who did it,” Bryant said.

Minutes later, she told detectives, she was driving around and “came up with a plan” to manufacture a story about being attacked at a Bloomfield ATM by a black man who was enranged by her John McCain bumper sticker.

“Her story changed a lot,” Bryant said.

The inconsistencies were frequent throughout nearly five hours of questioning late last night and early this morning, Bryant said.

She initially changed her account of what happened to say she lost consciousness during the attack near Liberty Avenue on Wednesday night and was groped by her attacker. She had not revealed those details originally.

Todd initially told police she was standing at an ATM when a man approached her from behind, put a knife to her neck and demanded money. She said she gave him the $60 she had in her pocket and stepped away.

Todd said the robber became enraged after noticing a John McCain bumper sticker on her car. She told police he punched the back of her head, knocked her to the ground and continued punching and kicking her before scratching a backward letter “B” in her right cheek with the knife.

In a second version, Todd said she was attacked on nearby Pearl Street after walking away from her car. She also told police she wasn’t sure if it was her bumper sticker or a campaign button on her jacket that angered the attacker.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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