Story of stranded man with autism that officials helped get home ‘may be inaccurate,’ sheriff’s office says
(Gray News) - New details have surfaced from a story that went viral on social media about law enforcement agencies working together to help a man with autism return home after being robbed and stranded at a gas station 600 miles away.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office was initially told that Willinaus Bolin, 23, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was on the way to Florida with some “friends” when they physically pushed him out of the car and robbed him at a gas station in Montgomery, Alabama.
“They allegedly took advantage of him for the money that he had worked to earn for several days mowing yards,” the sheriff’s office posted in a statement Monday on Facebook.
Bolin was left behind with no phone or money to get home, according to the original story. He told officers that his father was killed in 9/11 and his mother is diabetic and disabled with only one leg.
It turns out that may not be true.
“We have since learned that some of this young man’s story may be inaccurate, if not an outright lie,” the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.
Law enforcement has since learned that this man’s mother still has both legs and his father is still alive.
The agencies involved, however, acted in good faith based on the information provided and were happy to help the man return home.
“Unfortunately...(this may shock you) we get lied to a lot but as they say...no good deed goes unpunished,” the sheriff’s office continued in a statement on Facebook.
Officers with the Montgomery Police Department were the first to help Bolin. The officer took Bolin to a Waffle House in Vestavia Hills, where they contacted local law enforcement.
Officers with the Vestavia Hills Police Department tried to get Bolin a bus ticket and flight home, but none were available.
Instead, they drove him to Fultondale Police Department, sparking “a chain reaction of kindness.”
An officer with the Fultondale Police Department took Bolin to the Cullman County Sheriff Deputy, who then got him something to eat.
Then, a sergeant from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office picked up Bolin and made arrangements with a lieutenant with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office to connect at the Huntsville-Browns Ferry exit on I-65.
The sergeant gave Bolin $20 and wished him well on his journey home.
Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.