Hat­field man ac­cused of ly­ing about be­ing robbed held over for trial

North Penn Life - - News - By Jen­nifer Law­son jlaw­son@jour­nalregis­ter.com

A 22-year-old Hat­field man who ad­mit­ted to mak­ing up a story about be­ing robbed at gun­point in Cen­ten­nial Park has been held over for trial in county court.

Wil­liam D. Graef III, of the 2000 block of Oak Road, will be for­mally ar­raigned March 27 at the Mont­gomery Court of Com­mon Pleas in Norristown on misdemeanor charges of unsworn fal­si­fi­ca­tion to au­thor­i­ties and false re­ports to law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties.

Graef rep­re­sented him­self at his pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing Wed­nes­day morn­ing be­fore District Judge Ken­neth Deatel­hauser.

He told the judge he did not wish to tes­tify, but he of­fered a let­ter stat­ing that he is in treat­ment.

Of­fi­cer Daniel Tin­neny of the Hat­field Town­ship Po­lice De­part­ment tes­ti­fied that Graef called 911 about 6:55 p.m. Jan. 23 at his mother’s urg­ing af­ter he ar­rived home and told her he was robbed while walking past Cen­ten­nial Park on Cherry Street in the bor­ough.

Of­fi­cers picked him up at his home and brought him to the sta­tion for an in­ter­view. Graef told po­lice he was walking home from his job at Par­adise Manor, a per­sonal care home on East Lin­coln Av­enue, when he was grabbed from be­hind, forced un­der a bridge and robbed of $98 and a full pack of cigarettes, Tin­neny said.

Graef said the al­leged mug­ger had tan skin and was be­tween 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall and wore a black hooded sweat­shirt, work boots and jeans. He de­scribed the gun as “a 1911 World War II-style hand­gun,” Tin­neny said.

Graef was able to es­cape when the gun­man be­came dis­tracted by a noise, he told of­fi­cers, and he kicked the man and his gun two times be­fore run­ning away.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors and Mont­gomery Town­ship’s h-9 unit searched the area where Graef claimed the rob­bery took place but couldn’t find any ev­i­dence.

Due to some in­con­sis­ten­cies in his story and prob­lems with the report, Tin­neny called Graef Jan. 25 and asked him to come to the sta­tion.

“I spoke to him re­gard­ing my doubts, and he im­me­di­ately ac­knowl­edged the re­ports were false,” Tin­neny said. “He said he made the report up to ex­plain how he burned through his money and lost some of it, and needed an ex­cuse as to why.”

Deatle­hauser al­lowed Graef to re­main free on $10,000 un­se­cured bail pend­ing his for­mal ar­raign­ment.

Wil­liam D. Graef

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