Man cons motorist with sick child scam

Amelia Holliday Staff Reporter aholliday@civitasmedia.com

March 28, 2014

HAZARD—The City of Hazard was apparently visited this week by a scam artist who conned a number of motorists on the Johnny Cox All American Drive.

According to the Hazard Police Department, officers received a call from a motorist on Thursday about a man who was standing at the end of the bypass on Kentucky Highway 15 in Hazard and asking for money for a sick child. The motorist reportedly was afraid the man was trying to scam concerned motorists.

Deputy Chief Joseph Engle and Detective Adam Baker responded to the scene and found 28-year-old Cecil Ritchie, of Sam Campbell’s Branch, holding a sign that read “sick child, need money.”

When questioned, Ritchie initially said he did, in fact, have a sick child, but further investigation revealed that the sick child did not exist. Officers found $51 on his person that he had collected from passersby.

Ritchie confessed to lying, and was charged with theft by deception under $500 and second-degree disorderly conduct. He is currently lodged at the Kentucky River Regional Jail, though no bond has been set yet.

Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.