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UNC student lied about being branded in brutal attack

A student at the University of North Carolina lied when he said that he was branded with a hot object last week in an anti-gay attack. The freshman will likely face charges for filing a false police report.

Quinn Matney said he was approached last week on the Chapel Hill campus by a man who called him a derogatory name and held a heated object to his wrist for several seconds, leaving third and fourth-degree burns.

Matney said his attacker told him, “Here is a taste of hell.”

Matney told reporters that the branding object burned through his muscle and tendon, leaving him with limited movement in his hand and nerve damage that might require surgery. He displayed severe burn marks.

But investigators discovered that the attack was a hoax.

"The Department of Public Safety has determined that the alleged aggravated assault ... did not occur,” UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a message to the campus community on April 11. “That report, filed with campus police on April 5, was false."

University officials will no longer proceed with plans to report the incident as a hate crime to the federal government.

"It is important to recognize that incidents of harassment do occur," Thorp said in the statement. "When they do, we take them seriously. We strive to foster a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment at Carolina.”

Matney’s motive for making the false claim is unknown.

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