The report last weekend that two New Lenox girls were attacked and robbed on Old Plank Trail was a lie, police said.
In fact, the girls weren't on the trail or even in New Lenox, Sgt. Lou Alessandrini of the discovered after following up with a victim of the attack.
"Something didn't add up," Alessandrini said.
According to a Will County Sheriff's Department report, . They said three men demanded their purses and cell phones, then choked and punched the victims.
Will County took the original police report and relayed it to the county Forest Preserve District police, whose jurisdiction covers the trail. New Lenox police assisted on the case.
Alessandrini wanted to follow up with the victims to see if there's any way local police could help, and also find out if there was any connection to what he said is a heroin epidemic in the county.
He said it became apparent something wasn't right about the teen's story and got the truth: They were riding to Robbins, IL, to buy drugs, and after getting beaten and robbed drove back to New Lenox to avoid further trouble.
"So many people use that trail and they've been scared and flooding the department with calls," Alessandrini said Tuesday.
Bob Murphy, police chief at the Will County Forest Preserve District, said he believes the teenagers were with a 23-year-old New Lenox man, who drove them to Robbins to buy drugs.
"When they got there they were beaten up, and my understanding is the 23-year-old dropped them off at the trail in New Lenox," Murphy said. "They decided to tell their parents it happened there so they wouldn't get in trouble."
The injuries and robberies reported were accurate, Murphy said. One girl was punched in the face and choked, and another had her earrings ripped from her ears, according to police reports. They were taken to Silver Cross Hospital to be treated upon their return to New Lenox.
Both girls had their cell phones stolen as well as their purses. One of the girls said she had $65 in her purse, and the other had $5. Murphy said he thought it was unusual that a 15-year-old would have $65 with her on the trail.
"The long and the short of it is that this did not happen here," Murphy said. "The trail is safe."
Additionally, one tip that the report was fabricated was that one of the girls said she recognized one attacker as a man she knew from Robbins who went by the name "Q."
"From the very onset when I heard the report I just didn't really believe it," he said. "There's no way in hell that happened a 11:30 p.m. on the trail in New Lenox."
Murphy said that while lying to police isn't a good thing, he likely wouldn't bring charges against the teens because they are juveniles, and he's referring the case to the Robbins Police Department.
He said he would advise the parents of the teenagers to contact the Robbins Police Department if they want to file a report.
Alessandrini said he plans to investigate the possible 23-year-old involved, but wasn't sure whether charges would come from it.
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