FACT CHECK: Viral Post Warning Citizens In Tennessee Of A Homeless Man Attacking People Is Fake
A post shared on Facebook claims a man in Tennessee pretending to be homeless is violently attacking people who try to help him.
The man featured in the post is a fugitive wanted in Texas, not Tennessee. There is no evidence to suggest any such incident has occurred in Tennessee.
The Facebook post, shared over 1,800 times, claims a man in the city of Tullahoma, Tennessee is pretending to be homeless and violently attacking those who attempt to help him. The post includes a picture of the alleged attacker and goes on to claim the unidentified man once assaulted a 33-year-old single mother with a knife.
“This man goes around claiming to be homeless , hungry, seeking help, the moment you offer help, He attacks you,” reads part of the post’s caption. “He is on drugs and on the run and he’s very dangerous.”
The post is inaccurate. There is no mention of such a man on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s website or on the Tullahoma Police Department’s website. A search of local news outlets, including The Tullahoma News, turned up no results about any incidents involving a man pretending to be homeless to attack people. (RELATED: Viral Post Warning Of Homeless Men Attacking People Is Fake)
“The facebook page in question is not a legitimate City of Tullahoma government page and is a ‘spoof’ page,” said Tullahoma Police Chief Jason Williams in an email to Check Your Fact. “They put out misleading and false information.”
A reverse image search revealed the photo included in the post can be found on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website, which identifies the man as 44-year-old Raynaldo Faries Tijerina who is wanted in Texas for several criminal offenses including possession of child pornography. Tijerina was recently added to the state’s 10 most wanted fugitives list, according to ABC25.
Several iterations of the same viral post have been shared on Facebook. Each iteration includes the image of Tijerina but claims the attacks happened in different locations across the U.S.