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A man who was rescued after falling down an embankment along state Highway 92 in San Mateo early this morning could face criminal charges for falsely telling authorities he had been carjacked, a San Mateo police sergeant said. The California Highway Patrol got a call at 1:49 a.m. from a 47-year-old San Mateo resident who said he had fallen and needed help.
The CHP and fire crews responded and eventually found the man 25 to 30 feet down an embankment along eastbound Highway 92 near Mariner’s Island Boulevard, said Battalion Chief Nick Weber, of the San Mateo and Foster City fire departments, which are in the process of merging. Firefighters climbed down the embankment and strapped the wounded man to a gurney that was then pulled up to street level by rope, Weber said. He was taken to Stanford Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
The man initially told authorities he had fallen down the embankment while trying to escape from an armed carjacker, San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris said. Investigators found the man’s car nearby and searched the area for the carjacking suspect. However, after noticing inconsistencies in the man’s story, they interviewed him again and he admitted that the carjacking tale was fake, Norris said. What appears to have actually happened is that the man ran out of gas and became nervous about dealing with police, so he lied, Norris said.
“I think he was afraid to tell the police the whole truth about what happened, so he concocted something, which created a real resource drain for us,” Norris said. Police are still investigating how he fell down the embankment. Norris said the man was not wanted on any warrants but that investigators are still looking into the circumstances of the incident and that the man could be charged with making a false police report. San Mateo police will forward the case to the district attorney’s office, which will decide whether to file charges, Norris said.
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