US man who claimed he was stabbed for looking like neo-Nazi 'admits he cut himself'

Police in Sheridan, Colorado say Joshua Witt admitted making up the story after new evidence came to light

US man who claimed he was stabbed for looking like neo-Nazi 'admits he cut himself'

Image: Sheridan Police Department

A man who claimed he was stabbed for 'looking like a neo-Nazi' has admitted he made the story up, police in the US have said.

Joshua Witt (26) had suggested that the incident happened in the car park of a restaurant in Sheridan, Colorado.

Police said Mr Witt claimed a man approached him and asked 'are you one of them Neo-Nazis?', before attempting to stab him.

According to his widely-shared Facebook post about the alleged incident, Mr Witt said he received a stab wound to the left hand when trying to defend himself.

"Please keep in mind there was no conversation between me and this dude - I was literally just getting out of my car," Mr Witt wrote in a post.

Sheridan Police explained in a statement: "Mr Witt subsequently posted this information on social media claiming his haircut may have been the reason he was attacked. This became the focus of numerous news stories with Mr Witt agreeing to several media interviews where he repeated this version of events."

The alleged story spawned headlines such as Fox News' "Anti-Fascist Stabs Innocent Man Over 'Neo-Nazi' Haircut".

However, police say they later become suspicious of Mr Witt's version of events.

CCTV footage did not show a man running away from the scene. After locating a man matching the description of the alleged suspect, officers also determined that the man - described as 'a transient' who lives in the area - was not involved.

Police subsequently examined surveillance footage from a sporting goods store, which showed Mr Witt purchasing a small knife only minutes before the alleged attack occurred.

Mr Witt was again interviewed by police over the matter, and is said to have admitted making up the story after accidentally cutting himself with the knife.

Mr Witt now faces charges of false reporting to authorities. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail or a US$2,650 (€2,200) fine.

Sheridan police chief Mark Campbell told The Guardian: “No one else called this in. No one heard him scream. No one saw any type of altercation. That was the first red flag.

"Our take is he kind of made this up and it kind of got out of control when it went on Facebook.”