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Woman Mutilated After McCain Bumper Sticker Spotted
Update: Hoax
By Ed Driscoll · October 23, 2008 01:36 PM · The Making of the President · The Return of the Primitive

Update: 10/24/08: It's a hoax; Hot Air has the details--or the lack thereof in this case. As one Pittsburgh TV station notes:

Police sources tell KDKA that a campaign worker has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter "B" in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.
Like I said below, who Twitters about going to the bank? And as a reader emailed this morning, "Looking at the photo that has to be the most conscientious knife attack ever made. Uniform cut depths, nothing that needs stitching. Put some antibiotic ointment on it and forget about it"--adding, "It's a hoax. And I surely wish she hadn't done it."

Indeed.TM Story from yesterday follows:

Found via Matt Drudge, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh reports:

A 20-year-old woman who was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield was also maimed by her attacker, police said.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard tells Channel 4 Action News that the victim was robbed at knifepoint on Wednesday night outside of a Citizens Bank near Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m.

Richard said the robber took $60 from the woman, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.

Richard said the woman refused medical treatment after the assault, which happened outside the view of the bank's surveillance cameras.

The robber is described as a dark-skinned black man, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 200 pounds with a medium build, short black hair and brown eyes. The man was wearing dark colored jeans, a black undershirt and black shoes.

In a horribly macabre bit of irony, I read about this story immediately after concluding an interview for next week's PJM Political with Peter Wood, the author of A Bee In The Mouth, a 2007 book focusing on anger in American life, and particularly politics.

(Add this story to the Police Blotter Politics post from yesterday morning, a topic which I discussed a bit further on yesterday's afternoon's edition of PJTV, which subscribers can watch, here.)

Update: Ace cautions that "This could be a hoax. It's has a too-perfectly-awful-to-be-true feel, a Tawana Brawley feel." On the other hand, Ed Morrissey has a photo of the victim--in addition to the letter B scratched into her face, she has a very real looking black eye, to boot.

More: Glenn Reynolds adds, "This is so serious that I predict it will get almost one-tenth as much national coverage as something some guy yelled at a Palin rally once."

Update: Michelle Malkin expresses doubts; explaining why "that McCain volunteer's 'mutilation' story smells awfully weird."'

One item that does seem odd to me is this post on the victim's Twitter page:

atodd: Stubbornly searching for a bank of america to avoid ATM fees.
Thu, 23 Oct 2008 00:23:21 +0000
Of course, I could be reading my own concerns into this; my parents were always very discreet when leaving their small business to go to the bank, for fear of getting mugged, so I had that ethos drummed into me through osmosis. On the other hand, just because I wouldn't want the world to know when I was going to the bank, doesn't mean that others aren't blogging up a storm about that aspect of their lives.

Update: This Pittsburgh Tribune Review article mentions in the second paragraph that "Police planned to administer a polygraph test to Ashley Todd, 20, because her statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred, police said."

The article concludes by quoting local police Chief Nate Harper, who says. "We are treating this as a credible report", but adds, "The ATM has a security camera, and investigators were trying to watch the video."

Whether or not Todd's story is conclusively proven to be a hoax, note the smug headline on this Smoking Gun report.

Related: Tough to argue with this assessment: "election season is crazy season."

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