COVINGTON — A teen’s apparent lie resulted in an innocent male being questioned by police, the teen’s friend being wrongly arrested and, ultimately, his own arrest for making up the story.
Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Cameron’s Landing subdivision sometime around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, in response to an armed robbery.
When they arrived, they spoke with 17-year-old Anderson Ralph Bazile, who said he was cutting through a yard on Landing Lane to get to his home on Prince Edward Way when a black male wearing a black shirt and riding a bike stopped and pulled knife with a 10- to 12-inch blade and demanded his cell phone. Bazile told deputies he gave the suspect his phone and immediately left the area.
“The victim gave a description of the suspect, and dispatch sent out a lookout to deputies on duty,” said Sgt. Cortney Morrison. “Deputies set up a perimeter and heavily canvassed the area.”
Soon, investigators located a male at a nearby home who matched the description provided by Bazile. Morrison said investigators had Bazile identify that person, but he told them that was not the one who pulled a knife on him.
At some point as deputies continued to question Bazile about the alleged crime, Bazile said he may have known the person.
“He gave a nickname and the address of where this person used to live,” Morrison said.
It didn’t take long for investigators to identify the alleged suspect and bring him to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, where he was booked on armed robbery and weapons charges.
At the same time, Morrison said investigators were concerned about inconsistencies in Bazile’s account of events, so they brought him to the Sheriff’s Office for a recorded interview.
“During that interview, he admitted he made up the story that he had been robbed and that he and (the suspect) were friends,” she said. “There was no robbery, no violence.”
Bazile allegedly told investigators that he called police after he let his friend borrow his phone and he then rode away with it on his bicycle.
The friend, however, denied this version of events, Morrison said.
“He said the two conspired to get rid of the phone for money to buy drugs,” she said.
Since neither story could be corroborated, all charges against the 17-year-old friend were dropped. Bazile, however, was arrested and charged on Aug. 8 with making false statements.