A girl and her stepbrother lied to police in Mount Clemens about being thrown into the Clinton River by an intoxicated man, according to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.

The children first flagged down deputies around 11 p.m. June 22 to report they were walking along the boardwalk when they were approached by the suspect, 48-year-old Frank Michael Smoger.

Smoger of Mount Clemens allegedly snatched the girl and tossed her into the river, according to the children’s claim. He was located nearby lying in the grass, arrested and charged with felonious assault.

It was all a lie, sherriff’s officials said Friday.

“The Sheriff’s Office made numerous attempts to contact the family to clarify information in the original report,” officials said in a statement. “The mother (of the girl) has been uncooperative.”

Detectives interviewed an independent witness who contradicted the girl’s account. Officials then re-interviewed the family Thursday and learned that the girl was swimming in the river when Smoger fell into the water and accidentally hit the child.

“The girl lost an earring and she was angry,” officials said. “Her and her 14-year-old stepbrother then fabricated the story about her being thrown into the river.

“Furthermore, when the original report was filed, the girl reported to deputies that she was 13 years old,” officials continued. “In actuality, the girl is 9 years old.”

Sheriff’s officials have submitted the new development to the prosecutor’s office and will seek to have the felonious assault charge against Smoger dropped. The man is currently incarcerated on charges unrelated to the incident.

The children now face legal troubles of their own, officials said. The Sherriff’s Office will seek juvenile petitions against the siblings for filing a false felony report.

(313) 223-4616

Twitter: @HollyPFournier

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