- Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Churchill Downs, “Portsmouth Ohio Official” Facebook account
- A satirical Facebook page for Portsmouth, Ohio, said a man named Billy Lee Eldridge was wanted on suspicion of fraud and criminal possession.
- The post went viral on Thursday, being reshared nearly 2,000 times.
- But Capt. Debby Brewer of the Portsmouth Police Department told INSIDER there were no warrants out for a many by that name, nor were there any court records about the incident described in the post.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
A satirical Facebook page for the city of Portsmouth in southern Ohio said a 46-year-old man named Billy Lee Eldridge was wanted on suspicion of fraud and criminal possession for impersonating the country star Travis Tritt, but the police say it’s a hoax.
A Facebook page with the name Portsmouth Ohio Official said the man convinced the committee for the city’s River Days festival that he was Tritt, who released 11 albums from 1990 to 2007.
But Capt. Debby Brewer of the Portsmouth Police Department told INSIDER that there were no warrants out for a man by that name and that there were no court records about the incident. She said the post was fake.
The Facebook page claimed the man had accepted a payment of $2,250 for the River Days festival, which takes place in August and September, before panicking and fleeing when organizers at a different fair asked him to sing one of Tritt’s songs.
Brewer said she had received calls in the past about the Portsmouth Ohio Official page posting hoax news stories.
“A quick scroll through the page should quickly tell you it’s humor,” the account said in response to a request for comment. “You say ‘fake news’ – I say ‘hilarious.'” It’s unclear who is behind the account.
Tritt did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comment from Portsmouth, Ohio, police saying the Facebook post is fake and there is no warrant out for Billy Lee Eldridge’s arrest.
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