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October 24, 2012

Woman lied about Cooperstown assault, police say

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — An employee at Bassett Medical Center employee was arrested by village police Tuesday and accused of lying to them about an attack early this month.

“The leads didn’t come out the way that she had described it,” village Police Chief Michael Covert said.

Jenny L. Wyant, 36, of Hartwick initially told village police that she had been assaulted about 5 a.m. Oct. 3 near Beaver and Fair streets by a man who asked for her wallet. She told police the man struck her in the head with a sharp instrument when she failed to comply. They said she told them the man then fled toward Susquehanna Avenue.

Wyant was treated in the emergency room at Bassett and released.

“We were able to identify all the players that were in the parking lot and other people she claimed that she had seen,” Covert said. “We were able to identify all those people and talk to them and actually interview them, and not one of them had seen a suspect.”

Police said that Wyant described the suspect as about 20 years old, 5-feet-4 inches to 5-feet-6 inches tall and around 160 pounds. She told police that his teeth were in very poor condition, and that he was wearing a sweatshirt and dirty blue jeans.

The police doubts were enough that they brought Wyant back for another interview, Covert said. It was at that point she admitted to lying about the attack, he said.

“She told me that she had previous injuries at work and didn’t want to report it,” Covert said.

“She just said she was concerned that if she had another injury at work, they would’ve been talking to her,” he said. “At least that’s the story she gave us.”

Police said her injuries were minor, but it did require stitches to close the cut.

Wyant was charged with one count each of falsely reporting an incident and making an apparently sworn false statement. Both offenses are misdemeanors. If convicted she could be sentenced to up to one year in jail.

Karen Huxtable-Hooker, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said Wyant is “no longer employed at Bassett Medical Center.”

“As for the injury, we have no knowledge of where that occurred,” she said.

Wyant was arraigned before acting Village Justice Gary Kuch and released pending an appearance in village court at 2 p.m. Nov. 14.