for immediate release
March 1, 2002

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Six weeks after a man reported he was shot and injured when he intervened as a good Samaritan, that man has been arrested for filing a False Police Report.

An extensive investigation by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office has determined there was no shooting incident as described by Henry Anthony "Tony" Berthelot, in the Super Wal-Mart parking lot, 15017 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, on the evening of January 17. Berthelot, age 49 (2-6-53), of 192 Newman Drive, south Walton County, was arrested at his residence this afternoon (Friday) on a misdemeanor count of Knowingly Filing a False Report to Law Enforcement.

Berthelot told Deputies he witnessed an apparent car-jacking in progress that night, and came to the aid of a woman in a dark Mercedes with a baby in the car. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office thoroughly investigated his claim that his efforts allowed the intended victim to escape, as he was beaten and shot by two Spanish-speaking men who fled on foot.

Laboratory examination and test results of physical evidence revealed several major inconsistencies: the injury to Berthelot's leg is not a gunshot wound; no firearm was fired inside the cab of his truck; and the bullet found inside Berthelot's truck had never been fired from a gun. A warrant for Berthelot's arrest was signed today (Friday) by Judge Kelvin Wells. Berthelot has been transported to the Walton County Jail in DeFuniak Springs, where he will be held pending First Appearance before a Judge.


for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420