WATERVILLE — A Sidney man was arrested Monday night after police said he hit himself on the head with a piece of wood to fake an assault and robbery on a major city road.

David J. McEachern, 26, initially told Waterville police that he was hit in the back of the head, knocked unconscious and robbed of his backpack and wallet, according to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey.

When a police officer talked to McEachern after the assault was reported at 5:30 p.m., the officer only saw a small abrasion on the back of McEachern’s head, which was inconsistent with a mark that would knock him unconscious, Rumsey said.

McEachern changed his story, Rumsey said, after the officer told McEachern that it was unlikely that an attack at that time on College Avenue would have gone unnoticed by passersby.

McEachern then said that he made up the story and hit himself with a piece of wood, according to Rumsey. He reported the robbery because he didn’t have enough money to attend an appointment that he was walking to, Rumsey said.

McEachern was charged with making a false public report, a class D misdemeanor, and remained in Kennebec County Jail on a probation hold, Rumsey said. McEachern has a 8:30 a.m., Jan. 7, court date at Waterville District Court.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239 jscardina@centralmaine.com Twitter: @jessescardina