Jimmy Woodby was perplexed when he opened his Fort Worth door this week to see four detectives and six uniformed policemen standing in his front yard.
“I thought, ‘What in the heck?’ ” Woodby, 64, said Friday.
Woodby said the officers asked if they could search his house, to which he responded, “Sure.”
“They didn’t tell me anything until they were nearly done searching,” Woodby said. “We didn’t have anything to hide. We weren’t worried about anything.”
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As they wrapped up their search, Woodby said the officers explained that someone had made an accusation that a razor-embedded Rice Krispies Treat handed out on Halloween may have come from his house.
“They showed me a picture of the Rice Krispies thing,” Woodby said. “I said, ‘We didn’t even have any Rice Krispies.’ ”
On Thursday evening, the Fort Worth father whose police report had prompted the search was himself arrested on a warrant accusing him of making a false report to police.
Christopher Weldon Pruitt, 33, cried as he admitted that he had taken the blade from a razor in his own bathroom and placed it into the Halloween treat, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Pruitt remained in the Mansfield Jail on Friday with bail set at $750.
Filing a false report is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Woodby said he does not know Pruitt.
The initial report
Pruitt told police that his wife had taken their children trick-or-treating in the area around North Elementary School on Halloween night, according to the affidavit.
Pruitt said he was sorting through the children’s candy later that night when he cut the tip of his left index finger on a Rice Krispies Treat.
“Pruitt carefully opened the package and found a metal razor blade protruding from the treat itself,” the affidavit states.
Pruitt’s wife told her husband that she knew where she had gotten the treat. She said she also had a picture of the group standing at the door of that man’s residence, which included the man who had been handing out treats.
Detective J.C. Williams was assigned the case and interviewed Pruitt on Monday, the affidavit states.
Pruitt told the detective that his wife and he had found the residence where they believed the treat had come from on Windy Hill Lane.
Police obtained a search warrant the next day.
Woodby said he had purchased two bags of candy to hand out to tricker-or-treaters.
“We bought those $9.99 bags at Wal-Mart,” he said. “They had Snickers and Almond Joys and Butterfingers and stuff like that in them. They were all sealed candy.”
A discovery and confession
On Wednesday, Pruitt and his wife were interviewed by investigators again.
Pruitt’s wife allowed police to search the couple’s home in the 4100 block of Valentine Street. There, police found a Gillette Fusion Pro Glide razor inside the bathroom with a missing “precision trimmer,” the affidavit states.
“I noticed that it had 5 attachment holes where it would attach to the razor blade, which matched the razor that was found in the rice crispy treat,” Williams wrote in the affidavit.
Detective B. Kesler confronted Pruitt about lying, the affidavit stated.
“When asked if he actually put the razor blade in the rice crispy treat, Pruitt confessed and said that he did and began crying,” Williams wrote.
Pruitt told Kesler that he had cut his finger while removing the blade from a razor from his bathroom.
Cpl. Tracey Knight, a police spokeswoman, said investigators do not believe that Pruitt’s wife had been aware that her husband was lying.
Woodby said that a day after his home was searched, police returned to inform his family that it had been a false accusation.
“They talked to my daughter-in-law and they apologized and everything,” Woodby said. “I understand. It’s their job.”
Woodby said he’s puzzled why someone would pull such a hoax.
“I don’t know what their meaning was behind it or anything, but it’s just like I told the detective: I would never do that because I have kids of my own. Why would I do that?”
Woodby said the hoax would not deter him from handing out candy against next Halloween.
“Unless they ban Halloween, I’m going to hand out candy,” he said. “That’s a tradition.”