Cops: Texas fugitive’s false report sets off K9 search


A 24-year-old fugitive from Texas is being held on $10,000 bail after calling in a March 2 false report that an unknown woman had robbed him at knife point in Flanders, police said.

He also gave investigators a false name and age after Southampton Town police responded about 7:50 p.m. and searched the area with the help of a K-9 unit from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office, authorities said.

The man, Caris Valentin Hernandez, 24, of Flanders, had given his name as Jose G. Lerma, 19, and said he was robbed at knife point by a white woman who stole $350 cash from him, smashed his cell phone so he couldn’t call police and then fled the area, police said.

The search lasted for several hours, and was “fruitless,” police said.

But a continued police investigation, with the help of a translator, revealed “that Mr. Hernandez fabricated the entire story, used a false name, and provided a forged Texas drivers license,” a police press release reads. “Mr. Hernandez also falsely identified himself as a member of the United States Armed Forces.”

He was arrested at 1:30 a.m. March 3, and police said he punched and kicked at processing officers at police headquarters in Hampton Bays.

The officers suffered minor injuries, police said.

Mr. Hernandez is being held at the county jail in Riverside on $10,000 bail for criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony, falsely reporting and incident, a misdemeanor and harassment, a violation.

He’s also being held on a federal warrant out of Texas, where he’s wanted on fraud and impersonation charges, police said.

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