Editorial: False accusation in Huntington, W.Va., brings shame to the entire area

From The Herald Dispatch of Huntington:

The alleged child abduction at the Huntington Mall didn’t happen, but it did expose things about ourselves that we didn’t want to believe.

According to initial reports, on Monday evening a woman told police that while she was shopping in a store at the mall, a man grabbed her daughter by the hair and tried to pull her away. She told police she pulled a firearm and the assailant fled the scene. Police found Mohammed Fathy Hussein Zayan, 54, of Alexandria, Egypt, in the food court area and arrested him on a felony charge of attempted abduction based on statements from the woman and her child. He was taken to the Western Regional Jail and released on bond.

The next day, police said they could not verify the woman’s story. Police said she gave several conflicting statements about what happened, with the woman saying she had overreacted to the situation. She attributed the incident to a “cultural misunderstanding.”

Thursday, Zayan’s attorney, Michelle Protzman, said it was clear from the mall’s security cameras that the woman’s accusations could not be verified. No footage showed Zayan, the woman and her child near each other while in the clothing store where the incident allegedly occurred, Protzman said.

On Friday, authorities arrested Santana Renee Adams and charged her with falsely reporting an emergency, a misdemeanor. If she is convicted, she could be fined $500 or be sentenced to six months in jail. …

Read the editorial at https://www.herald-dispatch.com/opinion/editorial-false-accusation-brings-shame-to-the-entire-area/article_f136f8b0-283a-5d67-b505-69aeb46fc304.html

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