Texas veteran Scott Lattin made headlines earlier this month when his truck was destroyed and defaced with “Black lives matter” graffitti. Two weeks later, police believe they’ve caught the culprit: Lattin himself.
Police arrested Lattin for making a false report on Friday, after he told officers that vandals had spray-painted “[Fuck] Your Flag, Your Family, Your Feelings, Your Faith” and “Black Lives Matter,” local news station KDFW reports. Lattin collected nearly $6,000 from online supporters before conflicting details in his report led police to believe he had faked the attack.
Lattin, who had previously written “police lives matter” on the rear window of his white pickup truck, said vandals targeted him for supporting officers.
“They need support so they can feel what they do, putting their lives on the line every day,” Lattin told KDFW after the graffiti appeared. “It’s the only truck we have and because of this, it’s totaled now.”
He collected insurance money for the damages, while his family started a GoFundMe page, citing additional costs not covered by their claim.
“The Lattin family’s truck was vandalized due to showing support of police officers,” the now-deleted GoFundMe page reads. “The truck suffered spray paint, deep key marks down the sides, slashed seats, and broken dash.”
The page quickly became a rallying point for pro-police and anti-Black Lives Matter sentiment, with supporters donating $5,855 to repair the vandalized vehicle.
“So sick of the BLM movement. Good luck and hope this helps,” supporter Ted Margo wrote on GoFundMe, where he donated $100.
“Thanks for supporting police and not having a bad attitude towards blacks. BLM is a radical group bent on division and terrorist tendencies,” a supporter using the name Mike D wrote. “I think decent law abiding black citizens should be and likely are embarrassed by this group.”
But according to police, the “slashed seats and broken dash” appeared after Lattin filed his police report, a discrepancy officers noticed when they viewed KDFW’s television segment on the vandalism.
“We had initial video when the officers took the report and then when we saw your story on Channel 4. When we looked at those two videos, there were some differences in those and that led us to take the investigation into a different direction,” Whitney Police Chief Chris Bentley told KDFW. All interior damage to the truck appears to have been added after Lattin filed a police report.
Filing a false police report is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by a maximum one year in jail. Court documents reveal that Lattin admitted to having vandalized the truck for insurance money, KDFW reports.
It is unclear whether Lattin’s 203 GoFundMe donors will receive refunds.