ZEBULON — A Greenville man initially thought to be an armed robbery suspect appears to actually be the victim of a false report made to police on Sept. 18.
Zebulon police on Wednesday were still investigating a 911 call placed by a man about 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 18. The caller alleged he saw Scott Griffin, 48, of Greenville, enter Stepping Stones Community Resources, a counseling agency located at 103 S. Arendell Ave., with a handgun.
It took police a matter of minutes to determine Griffin, an employee of Stepping Stones, had no handgun.
“In reality, there was no such incident even close to this,” Zebulon Lt. Scott Finch said. “It appears this is an ex-girlfriend trying to continue to harass her ex-boyfriend.”
Finch said Griffin went to take the trash out of the business only to find the downtown corridor filled with Zebulon officers and Wake County Sheriff’s deputies with their service pistols drawn. The North Carolina Highway Patrol later arrived at the scene.
Officers blocked Arendell Avenue at Vance Street and at the railroad tracks just to the south while responding to the call.
“We treat all (reported) robberies the same,” Finch said. “We take the safety of the person and our safety into consideration and try to remove the person from the area.”
The relationship between the man who placed the false report and the ex-girlfriend who police believe to be involved is unclear. The identity of the man and the reasoning behind the false report is still under investigation, according to police.
“There’s more of a domestic situation here than we can prove, so far,” Finch said. “Basically, (Griffin) is the victim of this crime. If we can find who reported this, they need to be criminally prosecuted because of the seriousness of the report.”
Finch said information police have obtained and the cooperation of another law enforcement agency may shed light on the identity of the man who filed the report.
“Once I can identify the other (man), this will definitely make more sense,” Finch said. “It appears to be more of an antagonistic motive than anything else.”
A representative of Stepping Stones declined to say what Griffin’s role is at the business, how long he has worked there or if the incident affected his employment.