A Staten Island, New York, woman lied to police officers, telling them that a black woman sprayed her face with acid when in reality she had done it to herself.
Lizzie Dunn, 52, was admitted to the hospital with third-degree acid burns. She described to detectives a story about how she was assaulted by an African-American woman on her way to the bus stop earlier this month.
Dunn described a tale that didn’t delve too deeply into details. The woman who allegedly attacked her had asked for a cigarette, and then for money. When Dunn didn’t give her either, she said the black woman sprayed acid in her face — a story that was totally bogus, she later admitted.
Dunn provided pictures of her burns to The New York Daily News, describing her story of assault. But as police pressed Dunn to describe her attacker, it became apparent that she had made the whole thing up.
Police said they discovered she had additional scars from self-inflicted wounds.
After spraying herself in the face, Dunn stumbled into a local deli to ask workers there to call 911.
“When I tell you it was absolutely horrible — it looks like her face is melting off,” said Andrew Kenwood, an employee at the store.
Lying to police is a serious offense, and a waste of their time that could be better spent deterring or responding to real crimes. Providing them with a false story, one that relies on blaming a made-up black woman, also feeds into a racist narrative that can be exploited by bigots on social media.
Dunn shouldn’t have told the story she made up, nor should she have sprayed herself with acid in the first place. It sounds as though she has some mental health issues that she needs tended to. Hopefully, she can get the help she requires and understand in the future that stories like these only create problems for police and reinforce hatred for minorities.