WAREHAM — Wareham Police have arrested 27-year-old Matthew McGonnigal of Weymouth, after he falsely claimed to stop a kidnapping in the parking lot of Water Wizz last weekend.

A Facebook post went viral last weekend in which McGonnigle's fiancee claimed he fought off would-be kidnappers in the parking lot of the water park, and saved a young girl from being abducted. The fiancee lauded him as a hero, but social media backlash ensued after Water Wizz and Wareham Police both denied the incident ever took place.

McGonnigal went to Wareham Police headquarters a few days later to attempt to retrieve a copy of the police report. When he did so, he hid a tape recorder and illegally taped police officers as he was questioning them as to why there was no report. The audio recording was leaked to Turtleboy Sports, a local online publication that has been following the story since the initial viral post. In the recording, officers can be heard reprimanding McGonnigal for falsifying the story before escorting him from the police station.

Wareham Police began investigating further, and they say their investigation revealed the alleged kidnapping "never occurred and was completely fabricated," per a WPD release. Criminal charges were then filed against McGonnigal.

On Thursday, McGonnigal arrived at Wareham Police headquarters to retrieve personal property, Wareham Police arrested him without incident at 8:45 p.m. He was charged with unlawful wiretapping and impeding a police investigation, both felonies. He was charged with false report of a crime, a misdemeanor.

McGonnigal posted bail Thursday night and was arraigned Friday morning in Wareham Fourth District Court. The court clerk's office said he was released on personal recognizance this morning and is due back in court September 11 for a pretrial hearing.


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