Hoax report: Mountain lion escaped from pet store
Posted: August 13, 2014 - 2:24am

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — Officers in South Carolina spent hours searching for a mountain lion on the loose from a pet store — but police now say the threat was based on a false report.

Police say 55-year-old Bill Lunsford reported the escaped animal about 1 a.m. Sunday in Aiken. He said a burglar broke into a pet store and let the animal loose. Police warned residents that the domesticated, declawed mountain lion was 3 feet tall and 100 pounds, wearing a dog harness.

Aiken Police told WRDW-TV that about a dozen officers looked for the cat for up to 18 hours.

But police now say the report was a hoax and a mountain lion was never at the store. Lunsford is charged with filing a false police report.

It wasn't known whether he has a lawyer.

The Latest

Front Page$37M wanted for Lion’s Gate

Marketing firm touts more possible profit if complex were student-only

Front PageFire called suspicious

Blaze guts empty house and garage in Berwick

Front PageMan wins $625G in Geisinger lawsuit

Health system says it stands by its care

Front PageBiker hit after stopping traffic for fellow riders

Police say motorcyclist on charity run erred in Route 11 mishap, but neither he nor Bloom car driver will be cited

Front PageArea school districts saying no to ‘no homework’ trend

Texas teacher’s notion caught on across nation