Palm Coast, Fla. – A Palm Coast man faces charges after he staged an attack and tried to frame his current girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend for the apparent crime, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Ariel Antonio Diaz, 35, was arrested on Friday, nearly two months after deputies first began investigating.
Investigators said Diaz contacted them on Dec. 1, reporting his vehicle had been shot three times. Diaz suggested that his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend could be to blame, according to a news release.
The next day, Diaz called the sheriff’s office again, claiming that someone shot at him from the woods near his home, records show.
Dogs and members of Florida Fish and Wildlife were brought out to help investigators search the woods for hours, but nothing was found, according to the sheriff’s office. At the same time, deputies said Diaz provided them with text messages taking responsibility for both crimes which he claimed to have received from the ex-boyfriend.
Detectives said they were able to determine that Diaz sent the incriminating messages to himself using an app on his phone.
Records show, detectives spoke with Diaz again on Dec. 28 and the man admitted to making up the whole thing, including firing his own gun at his property.
“This guy thought he could frame someone and waste taxpayer resources searching for a shooter that didn’t exist,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a news release. “His antics endangered deputies and the public.”
The sheriff added that the cost of the investigation is estimated at more than $1,100 and his office will seek reimbursement.
Diaz faces charges of false report of a crime, false report to a law enforcement officer, false 911 calls and fabricating evidence. He was released from jail after posting a $12,000 bond.