All of this has left us with a bunch of message board conjecture and one fairly damning police report filed in Stillwater.
Here’s what we know…
May 29 at 1:44 pm – CowboysRFF tweeted “Hearing incredibly troubling chatter about Herschel Sims. Please don’t be true please don’t be true please don’t be true. Yikes.”
May 29 at 1:45 pm – I exchanged messages with CowboysRFF and he told me basically what everyone else has heard: Sims stole $700 from Tshimanga’s bank account.
May 29 at 10:30 pm – I heard from enough people that I pretty much knew the Sims rumor was true, so I posted this.
May 30 at 11:23 am – Samantha Vicent (former O’Colly crime reporter) tweeted “Herschel Sims is a story. Stay tuned.”
May 30 at 11:55 am – Samantha Vicent tweeted this link which said the following:
Linebacker Jeremiah Tshimanga told officers on May 18 that his bank account was accessed without his consent. The loss is estimated at $700, said Capt. Richard Atkins on Wednesday. “The victim reported the incident as occurring at the Stillwater National Bank on 1102 West Hall of Fame Avenue,” Atkins said. “We have not yet submitted an affidavit to the District Attorney’s office.” Tshimanga reported that a teammate stole his alien residence card and went to the bank to withdraw money, according to a police narrative. He noticed the card missing around April 25 but thought he misplaced it. However, Tshimanga checked his bank account May 1 and saw two withdrawals he did not make, he said. The reported fraudulent transactions were made April 27 at 10 a.m. and 2:36 p.m. for $500 and $200, respectively, according to the narrative.
There was no birth date or suspect name in the original article, only the mention that a teammate was the suspect.
Then things got a little odd.
May 30 at 4:47 pm – Gina tweeted this link which said:
Though the name was redacted, the suspect is listed as a 21-year-old black male, standing 5-feet-10 inches tall and weighing 190 pounds.
May 30 at 4:48 pm – Gina tweeted “two key things in Tshimanga police report: says suspect is 21. Also does not specify that it was a teammate.”
Except that Vicent was reporting that it WAS a teammate. Gina wasn’t saying that it wasn’t, only pointing out that the police report didn’t specify, which seems like an odd thing to need to point out.
ALSO, she incorrectly pointed out that the suspect in the report was 21, later clarifying: “Correction on Tshimanga police report. Suspect is 20, not 21. Birthday and age given on report did not match up. We have fixed it.”
This wouldn’t be a big deal except that an hour before Kelly Hines of the Tulsa World had tweeted this picture to me.
For those of you too lazy to click on the link, it’s a photo of the birth date on the police report of the suspect: 9-17-91.
And that, my friends, is what we know as of now.
This is a really strange story that has been reported on backwards. That is, usually stories go something like this Oklahoman, O’Colly, or Tulsa World ——> Pistols Firing and Cowboys RFF ——–> Orange Power and Go Pokes message boards ———> Twitter.
Whereas this story started on Twitter and the message boards, went through PFB and CRFF, and on up to the papers. It’s really a crappy spot for Gina, Hines, and the rest of the beat writers to be in because they basically know Sims is the suspect and/or is guilty but they can’t officially report it until the Stillwater police release something more official, at least with his name on it.
I think stories like this say something bigger about the narrative of how journalism works in 2012 between blogs and papers (in 1982, the papers could have sat on this for days or weeks without us knowing) but that’s another topic for another time…
UPDATE: We should know something by the end of the day or beginning of tomorrow morning. See this exchange between Samantha Vicent and the OSU assistant chief of police.