It was a story that was irresistible to reporters around the country.
University of Southern California senior cornerback Josh Shaw, newly named a team captain, said he jumped from a second-story balcony at a family gathering when he saw his young nephew struggling in a pool. Shaw sprained both his ankles, but he said he managed to crawl to the water and help the boy to safety.
"That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside. But that's the kind of person he is," USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement Monday.
But the tale of heroics began to unravel in the following days.
Police and fire agencies didn't receive a 911 call about the near drowning, TMZ reported. The Los Angeles Police Department did, however, have a police report about an attempted break-in. After hearing a description of the man seen climbing around her apartment balcony, the resident said it sounded like her boyfriend, Josh Shaw.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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