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Marine Layer


Claim:   News account describes a shoplifter who stabbed a Marine collecting Toys for Tots and was then whomped by other Marines.

MIXTURE OF TRUE AND FALSE INFORMATION

Examples:

[Collected via e-mail, December 2010]

November 27, 2010

Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Ga. - A U.S. Marine reservist collecting toys for children was stabbed when he helped stop a suspected shoplifter in eastern Georgia.

Best Buy sales manager Orvin Smith told The Augusta Chronicle that man was seen on surveillance cameras Friday putting a laptop under his jacket at the Augusta store.

When confronted, the man became irate, knocked down an employee, pulled a knife and ran toward the door. Outside were four Marines collecting toys for the service branch's "Toys For Tots" program.

Smith said the Marines stopped the man, but he stabbed one of them, Cpl. Phillip Duggan, in the back. The cut did not appear to be severe.

The suspect was transported to the local hospital with two broken arms, a broken leg, possible broken ribs, assorted lacerations and bruises he obtained when he fell trying to run after stabbing the Marine.

The suspect, whose name was not released, was held until police arrived. The Richmond County Sheriff's office said it is investigating.
 

[Collected via e-mail, February 2011]

SAS Stop Clumsy Thief

Perth, Australia

An SAS trooper collecting toys for children was stabbed when he helped stop a suspected shoplifter in east Perth.

The 'Toys-R-Us' Store Manager told 'The West Australian' that a man was seen on surveillance cameras last Friday putting a laptop under his jacket at the store.

When confronted, the man became irate, knocked down an employee, pulled a knife and ran toward the door.

Outside were four SAS Troopers collecting toys for the "Toys For Tots" program.

Smith said the Troopers stopped the man, but he stabbed one of them, in the back. The cut did not appear to be severe.

The suspect was transported by ambulance to the Royal Perth Hospital with two broken arms, a broken leg, possible broken ribs, multiple contusions and assorted lacerations including a broken nose and jaw... injuries he apparently sustained when he tripped whilst trying to run after the stabbing.

THE CLUMSY BASTARD !!!
 

[Collected via e-mail, April 2011]

Assailant suffers injuries from fall

Orville Smith, a store manager for Best Buy in Augusta, Georgia, told police he observed a male customer, later identified as Tyrone Jackson of Augusta, on surveillance cameras putting a laptop computer under his jacket... When confronted the man became irate, knocked down an employee, drew a knife and ran for the door.

Outside on the sidewalk were four Marines collecting toys for the "Toys for Tots" program. Smith said the Marines stopped the man, but he stabbed one of the Marines, Cpl. Phillip Duggan, in the back; the injury did not appear to be severe.

After Police and an ambulance arrived at the scene Cpl. Duggan was transported for treatment.

According to the police report, the subject was also transported to the local hospital with two broken arms, a broken ankle, a broken leg, several missing teeth, possible broken ribs, multiple contusions, assorted lacerations, a broken nose and a broken jaw... injuries he sustained when he slipped and fell off of the curb after stabbing the Marine.

Now that was a well written Police report.
 

Origins:   On 26 November 2010 (Black Friday) at about 1:15 p.m., those manning the surveillance cameras
at a Best Buy in Augusta, Georgia, spotted a shopper cutting a Dell laptop computer from its packaging and stuffing it down his pants. According to police, store security personnel approached the suspect, 39-year-old Tracey Attaway of Waynesboro, Georgia, and asked him to return the merchandise. Attaway became angry, released the laptop, and ran out the front door, pulling a knife and knocking down a Best Buy employee in the process.

Outside the store's entrance were four Marines and seven volunteers collecting donations for Toys for Tots. One of the former group, Cpl. Phillip Duggan, clotheslined the running man, bringing him to the ground. The assailant regained his feet and swung his knife, stabbing Duggan, then was quickly tackled by several other Marines and members of the store's loss-prevention team, who held him in the parking lot until deputies arrived:


The injured Marine was taken to Eisenhower Army Medical Center and released after receiving three stitches. He was well enough the next day to drop off a toy for donation at a nearby WalMart store:


Cpl. Duggan's attacker, Tracey Attaway, was jailed and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a knife in the commission of a crime, and in October 2011 he was sentenced to life in prison. (Attaway faced the maximum sentence on all assault and theft charges because he was a convicted felon with 30 prior arrests on his record.)

However, what makes this incident an enduring item of interest on the Internet is an account of the crime which was circulated via e-mail in December 2010 (reproduced as the first item in the Examples section above) and presented as a 27 November Associated Press account of the incident. While that account was indeed based on an Associated Press news article, it contained a paragraph not found in the original:
The suspect was transported to the local hospital with two broken arms, a broken leg, possible broken ribs, assorted lacerations and bruises he obtained when he fell trying to run after stabbing the Marine.
(The audience is supposed to read between the lines in the preceding text and conclude that the suspect did not fall but rather was beaten by the other three Marines.)

None of the news accounts, police reports, or interviews about this incident indicated that Attaway was injured, either while being subdued or afterwards. That bit was pure invention on the part of some person who inserted the additional paragraph into the news account, thereby transforming it into a "Don't mess with the Marines" object lesson.

Barbara "fable unable" Mikkelson

Variations:
  • A U.S. February 2011 version changed the name of the shoplifter to Tyrone Jackson.
  • A fake image representing a newspaper article has since been created for this item, one which adds the (apocryphal) statement that the fleeing suspect sustained multiple injuries "when he slipped and fell off the curb":

Sightings:   In the 1974 film Death Wish, a construction worker who takes part in the chasing down and beating of a would-be mugger (resulting in the mugger's receiving two broken arms, a broken jaw, and cracked ribs) tells a television reporter that "The poor guy musta fell down."

Last updated:   23 January 2014

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Sources:

    Emerson, LaTina.   "Shoplifting Suspect Stabs Marine, Police Say."
    Athens Banner-Herald.   27 November 2010.

    Martin, Kyle.   "Waynesboro Man Gets Life Prison Term in Stabbing of Marine at Best Buy."
    The Augusta Chronicle.   4 October 2011.

    Martin, Kyle.   "Stabbed Marine Released from Hospital."
    The Augusta Chronicle.   27 November 2010.

    Associated Press.   "Marine Stabbed by Suspected Shoplifter in Georgia."
    26 November 2010.

    The Augusta Chronicle.   "Bond Is Denied in Black Friday Stabbing."
    11 December 2010.