Press-Republican

November 28, 2012

Saranac Lake man charged with false reporting

By KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

---- — SARANAC LAKE — Police have charged William J. Martin with falsely reporting a shooting and robbery in the village last week.

The Saranac Lake resident, 55, claimed he was shot in the shoulder by a long gun held by one of two men who accosted him and then stole money from him on Nov. 20. 

The injured man was on a train trestle near Pine Street when he reported the incident.

Allegedly injured by what police say turned out to be his own rifle, Martin had called 911 to report a crime that sent area authorities on a manhunt and put residents on alert.

Police had said it was not thought that there was danger to the community.

They searched the area that night, talking with potential witnesses and people who know Martin.

As the investigation ensued, police were unable to corroborate details that Martin had given them, leading them to believe he had made up the story and shot himself.

The following morning, they found the rifle used to inflict the gunshot wound. Shrapnel has also been recovered from Martin’s injury.

“We recovered the rifle — it is his rifle; it was in the river,” Saranac Lake Police Chief Bruce Nason said. 

“We’ve been able to identify that it was the rifle used in this incident. Information that he reported to us in the beginning we determined was false by following up with witnesses and family members.”

MADE NO ADMISSIONS

Martin was rushed by ambulance to Adirondack Medical Center, then transferred by Life Flight to Fletcher Allen in Burlington for medical treatment.

The injuries were not life-threatening, police said at the time.

“He is out of the hospital,” Nason said Tuesday.

Martin did not admit to police that he staged the crime.

Nason has no idea why he made the false report.

“He did not make any direct admissions. He is not providing us with any more information at this time,” the chief said.

“It was determined the information provided in a written statement was false. The incident, as reported, was also determined to be false,” Nason said in a news release Tuesday that named the Martin for the first time.

Police arrested him at 9:07 Tuesday morning and charged him with falsely reporting an incident and making a punishable false written statement, both misdemeanors.

He was issued an appearance ticket for Saranac Lake Village Court at a later date.

Saranac Lake Police thanked the public for assistance in the investigation, as well as State Police and Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire and Rescue Departments.

Email Kim Smith Dedam:  kdedam@pressrepublican.com