Wishing to go back in time and be a high school freshman all over again is one thing; doing it is another, as a 21-year-old Georgia man found out when he tried to fool authorities into believing he was 14 years old.
Abay Holmes tried to enroll at Baldwin High School as a freshman but ended up in the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center, facing charges of “giving a false name, address, and birthdate to a law enforcement officer, and giving false statements or writings to conceal facts or fraudulent documents,” according to The Union-Recorder of Milledgeville.
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Scott Deason said authorities are still trying to understand why Holmes tried to enroll in high school.
“They’re still looking into all of that at this time,” said Deason.
“Apparently, he convinced a homeowner in this community to let him stay with them because he was 14 and had nowhere else to go.
“They got ready to put him out, and they called us, and we started doing some investigating.”
Capt. Brad King of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office said Holmes claimed he was a homeless 14-year-old named Awan Thomas, according to WMAZ-TV.
A Milledgeville woman took him in. He was virtually enrolled in Baldwin County High School and got a laptop from the school to do his work.
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On Aug. 25, the woman reported that Holmes became “unruly.” The sheriff’s office was called when, after being thrown out of the house, he tried to take the computer.
Fingerprints taken after he was detained revealed Holmes’ true identity.
“Holmes made up the lie and had to live that lie as best he could,” King said.
Police do not believe that Holmes had any ill intent towards fellow students but are unsure of his true motive.
“So, he was arrested for giving false statements to us,” Deason said.
“As far as what he did at school — that will be a school conversation. I don’t know if he is actually a student, was a student or was enrolled. That will be something the school will have to answer.”
Holmes was in the system because of an incident that took place at Georgia Military College, where he had gone after a high school football career in the Atlanta area.
Savanna Roughen, an assistant district attorney with the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, told the Union Recorder that Holmes was arrested with two other students in 2017 in connection with vehicle break-ins on the campus.
He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of theft by taking and served a year on probation, she said.
A deputy who was investigating the case called her about Holmes, she said, after he “knew right away something was off because the guy didn’t look 14 to him.”
Roughen said she believed Holmes left college, ending his football career.
Joe Kinsey at Outkick speculated that the chance to restart that career could have driven Holmes to do what he did.
“Let’s think about this for a minute. Did Holmes hatch a plan where he’d be a freshman, go to school virtually, build a relationship with the football coach and then come out and play? It’s very plausible. He’d dominate as a freshman, the recruiting services would take notice and who knows what the plan was after that,” Kinsey wrote.
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