Burnsville resident Ryan Reiersgaard turned 27 on Thursday.
He and his girlfriend, Katie Mager, 27, of Apple Valley, celebrated the occasion as anyone would: by reporting a fake crime to a police force in a major American city that is already pretty busy with its very-much-not-fake issue violent crime. This, according to charges filed against the suburban couple by prosecutors in Illinois, who say Mager and Reiersgaard made up every single part of their story -- including the detail that the leader of the three men who held them at knifepoint smelled like marijuana and "looked like a milk-dud or Fat Albert," as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Had police bought their tale, they might've been looking to question or arrest any heavy-set black man who happened to be in the same downtown Chicago neighborhood around the same time the 911 call came in.
Why'd they do it? "For fun." Reiersgaard admitted their "shenanigans" occassionally "get out of control." Fortunately for the cops, and those innocent black men, they also appear to be lousy at lying.
The Minnesotans told police they landed at O'Hare airport at 9 p.m., and had parked their car to go looking for their hotel, when they were approached by three men on the street. They claimed to be robbed at knifepoint, losing an engagement ring and their luggage, which included numerous valuables. Among them: $5,000 cash, a Louis Vitton bag, and a Burberry purse.
A subsequent review of airport security footage, after their story began to unravel, showed the couple had arrived in Chicago without luggage.
Prosecutors say Reiersgaard blames the episode on Mager, and said he "doesn't know her motives." Mager, once placed under arrest, allegedly said of the false report that she "made a mistake, had bad friends, and is sorry," adding she would tell police the real story if they let her go home.
Each of them is charged with one felony count of disorderly conduct of a false police report, a felony, and could face up to a three-year sentence under Illinois law. Reiersgaard has no criminal record in Minnesota outside traffic and parking violations. Mager has previously been convicted of "unauthorized practice" as a peace officer in 2014, and of financial transaction fraud in 2013.
They are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.