McCain Volunteer Says She Was Mugged, Had 'B' Cut in Her Face
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McCain campaign volunteer Ashley Todd told police she was mugged, then pinned by her assailant, who cut a "B" into her face.
Several "inconsistencies" have emerged in the statements made by a John McCain volunteer who claims she was robbed at knife point in Pittsburgh by an attacker who cut a "B" into her face after noticing a McCain bumper sticker on her car.
Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard told FOXNews.com on Friday that Ashley Todd, 20, says she was groped by a robber and lost consciousness during Wednesday's alleged assault at a Citizens Bank ATM. She didn't initially report those details, Richard said.
'There were major changes in her story" before and after the polygraph test, Richard said. As for the wound on her cheek, "it's very shallow, it's more of a scratch."
Todd took a polygraph test late Thursday or early Friday after police discovered the inconsistencies, Richard said. The investigation is ongoing. Richard said Todd is still being considered the "victim" of an assault, and she noted that victims often tend to forget details of situations that happen to them under duress.
Police are reviewing surveillance footage and searching for witnesses.
After a second interview by police, Todd is not as definitive about the assault, or the motives behind it, Richard said. She's also not sure if the robber took $60 from her as she initially reported but maintains it's missing, Richard said.
Todd received a call from the Republican presidential nominee and has spoken with her family. Barack Obama's local campaign team also issued well-wishes to the Texas resident.
However, just hours after the alleged assault was made public, some were raising flags about her account.
"There's just a lot of unanswered questions," one source familiar with the investigation told FOXNews.com. "The story just sounds very bizarre."
Police say Todd initially refused medical attention, though FOX News was later told she went to the hospital Thursday. A photo circulating of her on the Internet shows Todd with a black eye and a backward "B" on her right cheek, though the letter is faint.
Blogs and message boards, including on one of Todd's own Web pages, pointed to those details Thursday in raising skepticism about her account.
According to initial reports, Todd was working at a nearby phone bank before she was apparently attacked near an ATM.
Richard said the victim was withdrawing money at 9 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached her from behind, put the knife to her neck and demanded money. She said she gave him $60.
She told police the robber then noticed the bumper sticker, punched her in the back of the head, knocked her down, and continued to punch and kick her while threatening to teach her a lesson for being a McCain supporter.
"You are going to be a Barack supporter," she recalled the robber saying before he sat on her chest, pinning both her hands down with his knees and scratched the letter "B" on the right side of her face using what she believed to be a very dull knife. Then the robber fled, she said in the police report.
Ethan Eilon, executive director of the College Republicans National Committee, told FOX News Todd was volunteering through his organization and that she had taken a year off to work on the campaign.
He said that her attacker became enraged when he saw she had the McCain bumper sticker, and yelled, "You are one of those McCain people."
A police report does not describe the size or severity of the injury but says the knife was 4 to 5 inches.
Obama's Pittsburgh spokeswoman Allison Price later issued a statement saying "our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."
FOX News' Judson Berger and Carl Cameron and The Associated Press contributed to this report.