A black man who told police he was nearly lynched by a group of white men actually ran into a clothesline after arguing with his wife, said Carter County Sheriff Ken Grace.

Last week, the man whose name was not immediately available, called the sheriff and said a group of men tried to hang him in rural Carter County after he stopped to help an elderly farmer round up straying cattle.
Grace said deputies and FBI agents investigated the case, and the man told officers that he made up the false claim.

"He said they accused him of stealing cattle, wrapped a rope around his neck and dragged him around and beat him," Grace said. "Later, he admitted that he was arguing with his wife at an apartment complex and went running through the yard and ran into a clothesline and got the burn on his neck. His wife confirmed that."

"We looked into the alleged incident and found no evidence of any federal criminal violations and we consider the matter closed," FBI spokesman Gary Johnson said.

Now county law officials are considering turning over a case on the man who apparently made the false lynching report, Grace said.

"He may still have an assault case against the guys he ran into out there," Grace said. "But we might have a case of false reporting. We're going to return our report over to the DA and see what he decides."

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