It seems like Christmas this year has seen a lot of tragedy, and a lot of the stories making their way into the headlines happened for no good reason.
That’s the case with a Bronx, New York, EMT. Steven Sampson, 41, told police he was the victim of assault and robbery. In his original story he told law enforcement he pulled over at the corner of Bolton and Randall Aves. at about 2 a.m.
While he was arranging his gifts, that’s when a group of men wearing ski masks allegedly confronted him. He then supposedly fought with the robbers and was stabbed once in the arm before the crooks bounced with $2,500 in Christmas gifts. Among them were gift cards and drones, police say.
Sampson also told police that the men called him a “cracker,” implying the attack was racially motivated and the suspects were non-white. "'Hey cracker, we're going to take your (expletive),'” he told CBS New York, repeating what the robbers allegedly said. “I punched him in the face. He went to the ground," described of another attacker, and then looked at his arm. "I was stabbed very deep, to the bone."
Police now claim that everything was a lie. An NYPD spokesperson says that Sampson changed his account of what happened more than once, and then once he was confronted with those contradictions, recanted his story completely. Police issued him a desk appearance ticket and charged him with making a false written statement and filing a false police report on Wednesday (December 28).
Steven Sampson’s wife, Michell, defended her husband and his story. “There’s no false report. My husband was stabbed and he was robbed,” she said. “He was not charged with anything.”
Sampson's employer, the FDNY, is still reviewing the circumstances of his arrest. Watch CBS New York’s package on Sampson’s bogus story below.