(CBS) JONESBORO, Ark. - What began as an attempt to win over a date turned into a several-day manhunt for a "dangerous" man - a man who didn't exist.
The episode began several days ago, CBS St. Louis reported, when Jeffery Tyler Siegel, 26, and his unnamed date were enjoying a walk outside. During the walk, disaster appeared to strike when a knife-wielding man in black approached them from a nearby wooded area."You can go, but your girlfriend stays," the suspect reportedly said to the couple, according to KAIT-TV.
The woman then ran to get help while Siegel claimed to stay behind and fight the attacker, telling responding authorities that he sustained two cuts to the chest and wrist before escaping back into the cover of the trees.
A two-hour manhunt reportedly ensued after Siegel's date called the police, but no suspect was found.
On Monday, the woman admitted to police that her would-be suitor was on his phone sending text messages moments before the attack, and she was quoted as saying that something seemed "not right" about the occurrence.
Siegel was subsequently called in to answer more questions, KAIT learned.
Though he tried to deny any involvement at first, Det. Mike Branscum was said to eventually break him by promising not to file charges in exchange for the truth about what happened. Siegel reportedly added to authorities that he had no intention of the situation getting so out of hand.
"At that point he finally confessed that he lied about the incident," a police report obtained by KAIT indicated. "[He] really liked [his date, and] felt that if he did something like this it would help him with his chances with her."
Apparently not - Siegel's "intended" deemed the entire fake-attack-by-knife-wielding-man-so-you'll really-like-me plot "not very heroic."