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Man Said To Admit Lizard Man Shooting Hoax Is Charged

August 13, 1988 GMT

BISHOPVILLE, S.C. (AP) _ There’s no proof anything like the Lee County Lizard Man really exists, but a man who says he shot it faces up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine for unlawfully carrying a pistol, the sheriff said Friday.

Lizard Man mania has swept Bishopville since a 17-year-old reported being chased by a large green, red-eyed creature.

Sheriff Liston Truesdale said Kenneth Orr, 26, of Florence admitted he concocted a story about shooting Lizard Man ″because he wanted to keep the legend of the Lizard Man alive.″

Orr, an airman at Sumter’s Shaw Air Force Base, turned himself in about 10 a.m. Friday and was charged with unlawfully carrying a pistol, Truesdale said. Orr later was released on his own recognizance until his court date.

″He said he was real sorry he caused all that trouble,″ Truesdale said. ″He didn’t know he was going to do all that.″

Truesdale said he will decide within the week whether to charge Orr on the misdemeanor charge of making a false incident report.

Orr was carrying a .357-caliber Magnum revolver in his car Aug. 5 when he claimed to have shot five times at a creature along U.S. 15, authorities said.

He told deputies he was on his way to the base when a 5-foot-6-inch lizardlike creature ran across the highway and ″made a loop″ toward his car. Orr said he fired two warning shots before shooting three times at the creature, striking it in the neck once.

State law allows a person to carry a gun in a glove compartment or trunk of a car without a permit. The law also allows armed forces members to carry weapons when on duty.

Truesdale said that Orr’s gun was lying on the passenger seat of his car and that he had no permit.

Despite the Orr hoax, Truesdale said he is not ready to write the entire story of the Lizard Man off as fiction.

″Those people are seeing something out there,″ he said. ″Now what it is, I don’t know.″