Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

False report of teen swept into Santa Ana River prompted massive rescue effort

The story of a young teen being swept into the rain-swollen Santa Ana River appears to be a sham, wasting hours of rescue workers' time, according to the Orange Fire Department.

“I don’t think it was a planned hoax, but I’m not sure what to call it,” said Capt. Edward Engler, a spokesman for the department.

Rescue workers reported pulling a boy out of the river near Glassell Street in north Orange on Thursday afternoon during heavy rain, and the boy told them that a friend was still in the river. The statement launched a massive search from Orange to the Pacific Ocean, with rescue crews from six fire departments scouring the river by land and air for more than two hours.

But this morning, Engler reported that several new facts have come to light since the search. The person pulled from the river turned out to be a homeless man, and his statements have been found to be inconsistent and inaccurate. Engler said he did not know the man’s motivation for making up the story.

Officials do not yet know how much the rescue effort cost nor whether the department would seek criminal charges against the man, Engler said.

-- Seema Mehta

Photo: Orange firefighters search for a teen who reportedly fell into the Santa Ana River from a bridge in Anaheim. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Former Los Alamitos charity assistant sentenced to 4 years for embezzlement

Fire crews trying to save dog trapped in L.A. River

Evacuations lifted in some foothill communities; snow blankets mountains

Green jobs initiative to help community college students

Storms leave blanket of snow on Southern California mountains

Antelope Valley Hospital seeks type O-negative blood donors to replenish diminishing supply

Storms shut portion of Gold Line, leave thousands without power

Comments () | Archives (2)

were is Arnold gov of Calif
in times l this
i sent the no UN born citizen cant take a government job?

Make him pay all the costs incurred by his lies. If he cant pay, send him to jail.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: