GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — Police say social media is playing a large role in their investigation into a bullying incident that landed a teenager in the hospital.
Glynn County investigators say they are fielding tips from social media, but Channel 2′s Michael Seiden has learned some people are using social media to spread misinformation about the case.
During a Wednesday afternoon news conference, interim Glynn County Police Chief O’Neal Jackson said misinformation, blatant lies and allegations about people not even present have been spread online.
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“We can’t rush to judgment. We have to take our time on this,” Jackson said.
Trent Lehrkamp is still in the hospital nearly a week after police and the GBI launched a criminal investigation into an alleged hazing incident that left the teen fighting for his life.
“[Trent] is beginning the next step of his care and we ask that you continue to pray for Trent,” the family said in a statement read by Jackson.
Pictures from social media show what police say is a group of teens who left Lehrkamp after a party on St. Simons Island last Tuesday.
One picture shows him taped to a chair with spray paint all over him.
Police say three teens dropped Lehrkamp off at Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick with a blood alcohol level of 0.46, which is nearly six times the legal limit. Investigators say a post on social media claimed alcohol was poured down his throat.
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According to an incident report, Lehrkamp’s clothes were soaked with urine. His body and hair were covered in spray paint and he had a small bruise on his left shoulder when he arrived at the hospital.
“The citizens of Glynn County are mostly very good people, hardworking people. This is an isolated incident, and don’t judge Glynn County by one group of juvenile teens,” Jackson said.
A week before Lehrkamp was dropped off at the hospital, another video surfaced online of him being hosed down. His father told police that he had been covered in WD-40, vomit, paint, glue, egg yolk and spray paint. He had to have stitches.
No one has been arrested or charged in Lehrkamp’s case.
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