Lake City police officer arrested for harassment, bribery
The Lake City assistant police chief allegedly harassed a woman with hundreds of text messages, sent photos with offensive comments about her and - when he was caught - bribed someone to take the rap, court records show.
Lukas McCollough, 31, of Lake City, was arrested Thursday for felony bribery and suborning perjury and misdemeanor harassment and tampering with a witness. The felonies are each punishable by up to five years in prison.
McCollough was fired from his assistant chief job on Tuesday, police Chief Bobby Rist said. McCollough joined the department in 2006, but Rist declined to give any further details of McCollough's employment or termination.
The alleged victim, a 23-year-old Greene County woman, reported the harassment on Dec. 17. She said she had received harassing text messages from three cellphone numbers and that three of her relatives and a neighbor received envelopes that contained photos of her with disparaging comments.
McCollough was divorced in February, court records show. His ex-wife is not the alleged victim.
The harassing text messages were sent from pre-paid cellphones, one of which a Greene County Sheriff's deputy later found in McCollough's possession, according to court records. The deputy also found on McCollough's computer the photos that had been sent to the victim and another letter to her.
Names and addresses that McCollough allegedly typed on the envelopes that contained the photos were found on typewriter ribbon at the Lake City Police Department, court records show.
McCollough allegedly tried to cover up the crimes by reporting that he also received an envelope with the photos and by asking two women - one of which nannies his boy - to confess to the harassment. He allegedly offered one of the women $1,000.
The women confessed to the harassment but later recanted and said McCollough bribed them so he wouldn't lose his job, according to court records.
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