Facebook Videos Help Pittston, Pa., Police Solve Shooting Case

A man submitted a false report of being assaulted by two black males wearing hoodies, but videos posted to the man's Facebook account told the police a different story.

by Eric Mark, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. / May 11, 2017
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(TNS) -- A video posted to social media solved the case, according to police.

Kyle Garrison, 25, of Duryea, Pa., got shot in the foot during a drunken revel with friends last month, then made up a story about being assaulted and shot by strangers, Pittston police allege in a criminal complaint.

According to police, Pittston officers responded to a Stephenson Street home on the morning of April 20 for a report of a male who had been shot. Officers found Garrison sitting on the front porch, as medical personnel treated him for an injury to his right foot.

Garrison told officers he had been walking along North Main Street in Pittston about two hours prior. He said that as he walked past a dirt lot, two black males wearing hoodies “jumped out” at him and demanded he hand over his belongings. One of the men pointed a silver revolver at his face, Garrison said.

Garrison said that he slapped the handgun away. The gun fired and a bullet struck him in the foot, he said. The men then ran off and Garrison continued to walk home to Duryea, he said.

Garrison was taken to an area hospital for treatment, where police obtained a written statement.

Investigators then checked Garrison’s public Facebook account.

They found videos that had been posted to the account several hours before the alleged shooting was reported. One video depicted three men consuming alcoholic beverages and shooting a silver revolver. The video shows one of the men pointing the revolver toward the ground and discharging the gun, according to police.

Another video depicts a man who says he had been shot, then shows a wounded big toe, consistent with the wound to Garrison, police said.

Officers checked the area near the site where Garrison claimed he had been assaulted and shot and found no evidence of an altercation there, according to police.

Police determined that Garrison had a prior felony conviction and was not permitted to carry a firearm.

On May 3, officers interviewed Garrison, who admitted he invented the story about being assaulted and shot, police said.

Garrison said he and several other men had been drinking the night of April 19, then went to a Pittston home to obtain more alcohol, then went “mudding” at an area in Pittston Twp. known as “the pick,” near Devil’s Falls.

Garrison said he was one of the men shown in the videos, which he posted to his Facebook account.

One of his friends accidentally shot him in the toe as they passed the gun around, Garrison said.

He said he made up a story about the alleged robbery because he “got scared” when he called 911 to seek medical help and was told police would respond along with an ambulance, according to police.

Garrison was arraigned Wednesday on a felony count of prohibited firearms possession and a misdemeanor count of filing a false report.

He is free on $25,000 unsecured bail, pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 24 before Magisterial District Judge Alexandra Kokura Kravitz.

©2017 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.