Police say report of Gallatin home invasion was false - WSMV Channel 4

Police say report of Gallatin home invasion was false

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GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) -

Residents in Gallatin got a wake-up call they weren't expecting Wednesday morning.

Police cars and flashing lights woke most people on Woods Ferry Road after a reported home invasion.

"People were just talking about it and we were surprised that something happened here," said neighbor Maria Mejia.

Fernando Rayas, 27, told police a man walked into his home with a gun around 5 a.m.

"The suspect supposedly displayed a weapon pointing at the homeowner and the homeowner fired one shot. The suspect fled on foot," said Officer Bill Storment with the Gallatin Police Department.

Rayas was at home with his 2-year-old at the time, and his wife had already left for work.

"He had a 2-year-old child in the adjacent bedroom from where he was shooting his weapon," Storment said.

Police closed the road and searched the woods with K-9s, all for a suspect they would never find.

After hours searching for a suspect and turning up nothing, police realized there would be no suspect because there was no home invasion. Police say Rayas made the whole thing up.

"He progressively was able to give up less and less details. Initially he told us the approximate height and weight of the suspect. Then he changed it where he couldn't really tell you anything about the suspect because he was wearing a hood, and ultimately, like I said, he may have been dreaming all this," Storment said.

Rayas has been charged with filing a false police report and reckless endangerment of a child with a weapon.

Police learned he is a correctional officer at the Nashville women's prison and was late for work Wednesday morning. They questioned if that was motivation for the tall tale.

"He did concoct this story at about the same time he was supposed to be at work. Whether or not he planned on missing work today, we don't know," Storment said.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Correction say they are completing a fact-finding review of the case and will likely move forward with firing Rayas. The child was unharmed and is in the mother's custody.

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