KING-TV, November 5, 2019
SeaTac police originally released information that at least two masked men tied up customers at Bob’s Burgers n’ Teriyakis on Oct. 19 and then demanded money from them and sexually assaulted two female customers.
In a Monday afternoon press conference, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht said it was all a hoax in an effort for the people involved to avoid deportation.
“Today, I can confirm to you it was all a lie,” said Johanknecht. “Every employee present that evening, every customer, participated in a deliberate hoax.”
Sheriff Johanknecht said the people involved were trying to apply and get a U visa, which is set aside for victims of crimes and their immediate family members who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of a crime while in the United States.
The violent nature of the crime resulted in a massive manhunt for the alleged suspects, who were described as Samoan males. Sheriff Johanknecht said not only was this a false report, but also a “racially motivated one.”
The Sheriff’s office is now looking into their options for pursuing criminal charges for false reporting, however, officials said no one has been arrested at this time.