An employee of the arcade in the Kingsport Town Center has been arrested after allegedly making a fraudulent claim of being robbed by a man with a gun, adding that he threatened to tie her to a chair before fleeing out the fire exit.
Ginger M. Begley, 39, of 661 Arch Street, apartment 5, is charged with making a false police report. Records at the Kingsport Police Department say investigators reviewed video surveillance from the business, Tilt, discovering the footage didn't match up with Begley's account of the incident.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday officers responded to the arcade. Begley allegedly said a black male wearing a black T-shirt and dark jeans entered and began playing games, then asked her for change.
Begley reportedly told police that when she entered the back office to retrieve the change the man followed, demanding money. She allegedly claimed that when she told the man, "don't do this," he reached into his pocket and said, "I have a gun."
Begley's alleged statements to police say she asked to see the weapon and the suspect warned that if he pulled it out, "It's not gonna go well." When the man threatened to tie her to an office chair, according to Begley's account, she handed over $221 that was in her apron.
Begley reportedly claimed the man then asked for money in a safe. She told police she "fumbled" to get it open and the man removed $100 in rolled quarters. The suspect then told her to let him out the back, Begley allegedly said, and he fled out the fire exit.
The police report says officers located a man closely matching the suspect's description at the nearby corner of East Center Street and F Street. Begley visited the location and told police the individual wasn't the man who robbed her. He was then released.
A manager of Tilt arrived and police reviewed surveillance footage, observing it didn't coincide with Begley's statements. KPD Det. Monica Swayze says the footage revealed Begley talking with the alleged robber for an extended period of time, over which she never appeared distressed. They reportedly went into the office together and Begley later used a key to disable a fire alarm, letting the man out the back.
Police say the stolen money has not been recovered, while Begley is charged with filing a false police report. An investigation is continuing with additional charges pending.
During her interviews with police she reportedly emitted a strong odor of alcohol and admitted to drinking. After performing poorly on field sobriety tests Begley was additionally charged with public intoxication.