False black panther report lands man in jail

A false police report about a black panther attack landed a S.C. man in jail.

Hemingway man claims black panther attacked him

If you hang around enough hunting or fishing camps in the south, you’ll hear tales of black panther sightings. Some are far-fetched stories. But most of them pale in comparison to the one Rickey Wesley Lynch told Georgetown County (S.C.) police on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Lynch’s black panther tale landed him in jail. He described the animal as a “black cat,” a “black panther,” and a “black-colored, oversized, waist-high cat-like animal with a long tail that dragged the ground.” He’s been charged with filing a false police report and breach of peace.

The Hemingway resident claimed he’d been attacked by the large animal in his neighborhood. The big cat, Lynch said, ripped his shirt sleeve after grabbing him by his pants leg and dragging him to the ground and into a ditch. He was able to escape, he said, and dialed 911 to report the incident. Authorities sent an ambulance, which took Lynch to the hospital. He was treated for superficial wounds.

Lynch told police that he had seen a cub cross the road just before the big cat attacked. Several investigating officers from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, along with officers from the SCDNR warned residents. They conducted a lengthy search for the animal before Lynch spilled the beans — his story was false.

Police aren’t sure how Lynch sustained his minor injuries, but they’re positive it wasn’t from a black panther. The 33-year-old maintains he was attacked by something, but admits he made up the story about the black cat.

–Click here to read another strange story from the outdoor world.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1245 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.