An Oak Ridge man who allegedly went on a rampage and broke bedroom windows inside his home concocted a story about a home invasion toÂ try to avoid trouble with his landlord, City Judge Lawrence Tunnell, authorities said.
Derek Scott Fitzpatrick, 26, has been charged with false reporting, a felony. He remained jailed at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton early Friday morning.
The alleged home invasion on North Hollywood Circle was reported one week ago at about 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1. The Oak Ridge Police Department quickly set up a perimeter in the Highland View neighborhood and searched for the two suspects for about 30 minutes before “finding out the story was made up,” Officer Garrett Robbins said in an affidavit filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court.
When police arrived, Fitzpatrick was lying on the floor of his home bleeding from his arm. He alleged two men forced their way into the home and beat and robbed him. He said he wasn’t sure how his arm was cut, but the suspects took his wallet, which contained $335.
Fitzpatrick’s girlfriend and child were also at the home, and the woman made the initial call to police. She also said the robbery occurred and said she had run to a back bedroom with her child.
But Robbins said the details given by Fitzpatrick and his girlfriend were inconsistent, and she eventually admitted that the home invasion and robbery did not occur.
“She said the defendant broke out the bedroom windows and was ‘on a rampage,'” Robbins said. “(She) said the defendant made up the story about the home invasion so he would not get in trouble from their landlord, Judge Lawrence Tunnell.”
Robbins said the false report caused multiple officers to respond and set up a perimeter, “pulling a large amount of resources from other areas of the city.”
It’s the third time in less than three months that the ORPD has responded to an alleged home invasion or assault inside a home that was later determined to be a false report or hoax. In August, a Beverly Circle woman alleged she was attacked and cut with a knife by an unknown man in her home. But police checked her property and reviewed a neighbor’s videotape and later charged the resident with false reporting.
A week earlier, on nearby Butler Road, a man alleged thatÂ 64 hydrocodone pills had been stolen after two suspects entered his home and demanded drugs while holding him at gunpoint. Authorities later determined that call to be a hoax, but officers had notified administrators at nearby Linden Elementary School as a precaution.