LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police officers arrested an 18-year-old man Monday for tampering with evidence after he allegedly took law enforcement officers to a fictitious crime scene and "acted out" an aggravated assault that reportedly took place on June 12.
Lawrence Daniel Cook, 18, of Lufkin, is still being held in the Angelina County jail on a third-degree felony charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. No bond has been set at this time.
An arrest affidavit, said, according to the Lufkin Police Department officer that initially responded to the aggravated assault call on June 12, "things started to surface" over the course of the investigation that concerned him. He interviewed several more subjects and attempted to obtain video from convenience stores.
Originally, Cook and another man told police that they were being chased by a vehicle containing several subjects when they stopped at the corner of South First and Menifee streets in Lufkin. While the other man "was fending off several subjects that came towards them," one of the other subjects allegedly struck Cook above his right eye, opening up a 5-inch laceration that was 2 inches wide and exposed Cook's skull. He told officers that Clinton Earl Johnson Jr. then took $53 in cash from his front pants pocket.
During the initial interview with LPD officers, Cook allegedly "acted out" the entire sequence of events from getting hit in the head with a brick to his getting robbed.
When the LPD officer interviewed Cook again, the 18-year-old allegedly admitted that the incident with the brick actually took place on Highway 103 East in Angelina County, and not at the intersection of South First and Menifee streets. He also told the LPD officer that even though he was "jumped" at the location within the Lufkin city limits, no one else other than the suspects was there at the time.
Although the brick Cook showed the LPD at the crime scene was the one that was allegedly thrown at him, it was not the one used in the actual assault.
"Lawrence not only took me and one of my evidence techs to a 'crime scene' that did not exist, but informed me that the brick on scene was most likely the one used during the assault because there were not others in the area like it, so it must have been the one that caused his injuries when Chris threw it at him, knowing this entire time he was telling me this, it was a complete lie and fabrication of the incident," the officer wrote in the arrest affidavit.
A day after Clinton Earl Johnson Jr., 19, was arrested on a second-degree felony robbery charge on Jun 19in connection to the alleged June 12 assault and robbery of Cook, Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him. John was released from the Angelina County Jail.