JONESBORO, Ark. (CBS St. Louis) – 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 trouble began several days ago, 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, and 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, the station learned.

Though he tried to deny any involvement at first, Detective Mike Branscum was said to eventually break him by promising not to file charges in exchange for the truth about what happened.

“At that point he finally confessed that he lied about the incident,” a police report obtained by KAIT-8 indicated. “[He] really liked [his date, and] felt that if he did something like this it would help him with his chances with her.”

Siegel reportedly added to authorities that he had no intention of the situation getting so out of hand.

While he may have had good intentions, his plan ultimately failed – the station found out that she deemed the incident to be “not very heroic.”


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