Sumter, SC (FOX Carolina) - Police in Sumter, SC have arrested two people, one of them a candidate for mayor, after they say the duo staged a kidnapping and beating in order to garner publicity, sympathy and votes in the November election.
According to Sumter police, 29-year-old Sabrina Belcher, the candidate for mayor, admitted to planning the ruse, which police say she recorded and posted to Facebook live with 34-year-old Christopher James Eaddy.
Police say on Tuesday they were called to the police station just before 11:30 p.m. to meet with Belcher who reported she was was assaulted and kidnapped by an unknown man during an attempted robbery. She was injured and her vehicle windows were knocked out during the chain of events described by Belcher.
During the investigation, police say Belcher provided a fake name of her attacker. Officers say they later determined she was in contact with Eaddy whom she had worked with days prior to concoct and stage the reported incident.
Police say the duo also attempted to discredit a fellow candidate in their recording, adding that Belcher had ongoing plans to smear other mayoral candidates prior to the election.
“This was simply an effort to create disorder and discontent in our community for personal gain,” Chief Russell Roark said. “As a result, a valuable number of resources, including personnel, man-hours of the police department as well as local medical professionals, were wasted based on false information.”
Belcher is charged with filing a false police report of a felony and conspiracy. Eaddy is charged with conspiracy. Both were booked Wednesday at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.