Police: Mom, son charged in truck vandalism hoax

Three family members from Whitney are now facing charges for a truck vandalism hoax.

Cindy Lattin and her 18-year-old son, Jason, were arrested Monday and charged with false report of a police officer.

Their arrests come after the Friday arrest of Scott Lattin, who is Cindy’s husband and Jason’s father.

Scott Lattin told Whitney police on Sept. 8 that anti-police vandals tagged his truck with "Black Lives Matter" and other graffiti because he displayed pro-police messages and symbols on his pickup.

However, police said on Friday that they believe Scott vandalized the truck in a scheme to get insurance money. Police now believe Cindy and Jason lied to support Scott.

"It was a situation, in their words, they were very sorry and remorseful for,” said Whitney Police Chief Chris Bentley.

Jason contacted FOX 4 two weeks ago, claiming that his family's white truck was targeted by vandals.

FOX 4’s story on the truck went viral, drawing in almost $6,000 in donations for the family.

Whitney police say they saw FOX 4’s story and noticed more damage to the truck than when the family first reported the vandalism.

After the family’s stories changed several times and investigators found evidence of a black spray paint can at the home, police say that Scott admitted to doing the damage to the truck.

Whitney police say all of the nearly $6,000 in donations on the family's GoFundMe page have been returned and that the link is now suspended.

“They told me there was a lot of pressure because the media showed up and they were making statements and they know they were being recorded,” said Bentley.

Police say if you or someone you know donated to the family privately, you should contact the chief to make sure whatever you gave is returned.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick saw FOX 4’s original story, and like many, he was outraged.

After learning that the family is now accused of making the story up, his office told FOX 4, “We are disappointed to learn of the latest developments and believed the original news and police reports were accurate."

Scott has since bonded out of jail. He saw FOX 4’s camera and then disappeared.

"I surely think a person would feel pretty bad, not only having their family arrested but knowing they kind of went together on this crime to create a crime and let it blow out of proportion,” said Bentley.

Jason had expressed to FOX 4 in the original story that his dream was to become a police officer.