FACT CHECK: Viral Post Warning Of Homeless Men Attacking People Is Fake
A post shared on Facebook over 325 times claims two men in Pottstown, Pennsylvania are pretending to be homeless and attacking people.
The images show two men who are wanted internationally. There is no evidence that these men, or any others, are attacking individuals in Pennsylvania.
The post appears to show the mugshots of two men. “Warning. The public around Pottstown is being warned to be alert and vigilant,” reads text included in the post. “These 2 men go around claiming to be homeless, seeking help, then they attack you.” The post goes on to claim the two “attacked a 33 year old single mom with a knife 2 days ago leaving her struggling for her life.”
The post is false. No credible news outlets, including local news outlet The Mercury, have reported on the alleged attacks in Pottstown. Neither of the two men appear on the Pottstown Police Department’s Wanted Persons list. (RELATED: Did A Florida Man Turn Himself In For Killing His Imaginary Friend?)
The image shared on Facebook appears to be only one of several iterations of the story circulating online. On June 25, the Parmer County Sheriff’s Office shared a post on Facebook showing a similar Facebook post warning citizens of Bovina, Texas about the two men. “It has been brought to the Parmer County Sheriff’s office that this has been posted,” the post reads. “PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND, SHARE OR BELIEVE ANY OF THIS! IT IS A SCAM.”
A reverse image search revealed the two men pictured in the posts are not American, nor are they wanted for pretending to be homeless and attacking civilians. The man on the left is a Turkish citizen named Ozgur Demir, who is wanted “in connection with conspiracy to supply 17.83 kg of diamorphine,” according to the Manchester Evening News. The man on the right is named Patrick Cosolo and is wanted in London for two assaults he committed in 2013, My London News reported.
Check Your Fact has reached out to the Pottstown Police Department for comment and will update this piece if a response is given.