ROCKLAND — A Rockland man was issued a summons Wednesday after police said he fabricated a story about his child being given a piece of Halloween candy with a needle inside.

Justin Sanford, 29, was issued the summons for false reporting, according to Rockland Deputy Police Chief James Pease.

This is a Class D crime that has a potential maximum sentence of 364 days in jail. Sanford is scheduled to make his initial appearance in the Knox County court on Dec. 16.

Sanford had posted on social media Tuesday that his 3-year-old son had bitten into a Kit Kat bar with a needle in it.

When the mother returned home, she took the child to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, unaware that the incident had been fabricated.

Rockland police were called to the hospital where Sanford initially said that the candy had come from one of several trick or treat locations. Further investigation determined, however, that the needle had been put in the candy bar after it was home and that the child never bit it.

Pease declined to say whether Sanford confessed to fabricating the story.

“Although the Rockland Police Department does encourage parents to check any candy given to their child for signs of tampering prior to it being ingested, citizens should also be aware that confirmed cases of Halloween candy having been altered is extremely rare and that this local report has been found to be completely false,” the police stated on its Facebook page.

“False reporting is a burden on police resources and takes away time and energy that could be utilized for true victims. Any false reports made will be investigated and charged accordingly,” the police said.

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