Todd: The attacker fondled me, too; Update: Todd confesses to making up story, say police; Update: Todd “upset” with the media for hyping the story; Update: “She hasn’t really shown any obvious remorse”
posted at 1:30 pm on October 24, 2008 by Allahpundit
She forgot to mention that to cops during the initial report, just like she forgot to mention the detail about him spotting the McCain bumper sticker on her car. It happens; victims of violent crime forget details initially.
But the nuance is mounting.
Speaking to Channel 4 Action News on Friday, [police spokesman Diane] Richard said they’re still questioning Todd because of some new developments.
“We have learned that the victim’s statement has a few inconsistencies in it and her statement has changed,” said Richard
Richard said Todd now says she isn’t sure if it was a bumper sticker on her car or a campaign button on her jacket that angered the attacker. Richard said Todd added new details to the attack, saying at one point she lost consciousness.
“She also indicated she was sexually assaulted as well. She indicated that when he had her on the ground he put his hand up her blouse and started fondling her. But other than that, she says she doesn’t remember anything else. So we’re adding a sexual assault to this as well,” Richard said.
They gave her a polygraph but haven’t released the results. Here’s a photo of the ATM station; cops say the camera doesn’t show anything, but that might be because the attack happened out of frame. No word on whether it at least shows her using the machine to place her at the scene.
People who work at nearby businesses claim they didn’t hear anything. I assumed from the first reports that the ATM was enclosed in the foyer of a bank (the way mine is) but this appears to be open onto the street, so passersby would have a clear view.
Ms. Todd told police during at least five hours of questioning last night that her attacker said to her, “You are going to be a Barack supporter.” She told police the man then sat on her chest, pinning both her hands down with his knees and used what she believed was a dull knife with a roughly 5-inch blade to carve the B.
Ms. Todd then went to a friend’s house in the 5100 block of Cypress Street, about a mile away, where she reported the incident to police about 45 minutes later. She declined medical treatment at that time.
Like Ace says, maybe she took the photo herself in the mirror. If the latter, that would make the “B” facing the right way on her left cheek, which would be the likeliest place for a right-handed assailant to cut her (assuming, probability-wise, that he is right-handed). Exit question one: Why not release the details of the polygraph? If she passed it, it’s mighty irresponsible to suppress that information while whispering to the press about “inconsistencies” in her story. Exit question two: If other businesses were open nearby, why didn’t she go in and ask for immediate help?
Police sources tell KDKA that a campaign worker has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter “B” in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker…
Investigators did say that they received photos from the ATM machine and “the photographs were verified as not being the victim making the transaction.”
This afternoon, a Pittsburgh police commander told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that Todd confessed to making up the story.
The commander added that Todd will face charges; but police have not commented on what those charges will be.
Update (Ed): The College Republicans will have some explaining to do here. And let’s remember that even if the story had been true, it still didn’t say anything about Obama and the people who support him.
Update: Fox News VP John Moody set up the left’s talking points for them perfectly last night: “If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.”
Update: No word yet about the black eye, but the “B” is her own doing, unsurprisingly.
A McCain-Palin campaign volunteer who claimed she was robbed and cut by a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama has confessed to making up the story, police sources told the Tribune-Review.
Ashley Todd, 20, of College Station, Texas, is expected to be charged with filing a false police report and may face additional charges, investigators said. She told detectives she etched a backward letter “B” onto her right cheek and then manufactured a story about being attacked at a Bloomfield ATM by a black man who was enranged by her John McCain bumper sticker.
Detectives are continuing to question Todd at police headquarters. They are expected to release additional information later this afternoon.
If it’s her right cheek, then the photo wasn’t taken in a mirror and she really did etch it backwards, like the moron that she is.
Update: Here’s one possible explanation for how she got the black eye: She may not really have a black eye. Quote: “The photo also shows Todd with a black eye. Salon showed it to Jennifer Province, an emergency room nurse, who says she believes the black eye was faked. The color of it is wrong, Province said, and there’s less swelling than typically seen.”
How does one “fake” a black eye, exactly? Did she actually put make up around her eye and expect the cops to be fooled?
Update: KDKA updates to say that cops believe the “injuries” were self-inflicted. Whether that’s a reference to the “B” or to something more, like her giving herself a black eye, I don’t know yet.
Update: Surprise — she told cops she’s had mental health problems in the past.
Update: I’ve received the following statement from Ethan Eilon, executive director of the College Republicans:
“When Ms. Todd initially contacted us claiming to have been attacked our first reaction was obviously to be concerned for her safety. We are as upset as anyone to learn of her deceit, Ashley must take full responsibility for her actions.” – Ashley Barbera, Communications Director
“We have terminated her effective today. Obviously, we had know idea she was making this story up.” – Ethan Eilon
Update: She simply must be joking.
“She just opened up and said she wanted to tell the truth,” Bryant said. “She was upset with the media for blowing this into a political firestorm.”
She told Detectives J.R. Smith and Scott Evans varying stories about how she ended up with two black eyes and a backward letter “B” etched onto her right cheek late Wednesday. She said she remembers being in her car, driving around the city, and seeing the letter on her cheek when she looked into the rearview mirror. She said she immediately thought of Barack Obama when she saw the “B,” Bryant said.
“She said she doesn’t remember doing it but knows it must have been her who did it,” Bryant said.
Update: Inflaming race relations, sandbagging the candidate she claims to support, sending the cops on a wild goose chase — and no remorse, of course.
“She hasn’t really shown any obvious remorse,” Kraus said. “She’s certainly surprised that it snowballed to where it is today.”
“It’s been a huge waste of time and man hours,” said Bryant, adding that police had been working on the story since it broke Thursday…
A woman named Liz who answered the door at the residence where Todd arrived after her purported attack told FOXNews.com that her roommate is friends with Todd, and he told Liz not to discuss any details about the incident. A Ford Taurus with a Texas license plate and a McCain-Palin sticker was parked outside.
Fox notes that she’s staying with a “male friend” in the area. I’m still wondering about that black eye.
Update: KDKA has perp-walk video. I looked closely to try to see if her eye’s still black, which would at least prove that it’s a real injury, but I can’t tell for sure. If it is, it’s healed an awful lot already.