By: Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer
Correction posted at 12:15 p.m. EST, July 30: The original headline for this story incorrectly located the Tahoe Daily Tribune in Nevada. The paper is based in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
(AP) A New Yorker who bragged at a Nevada resort last week that he was a heroic survivor of the Sept. 11 attack was lying, police say.
Daniel McCarthy, 38, told a priest and then a newspaper reporter that he was a Brooklyn police officer who cheated death at the World Trade Center after racing into Tower 1 to rescue office workers. McCarthy said he was blown out of the ninth floor and buried in rubble for more than three days while he envisioned his dead grandmother urging him to stay alive and await help.
He told the story to the priest who was marrying McCarthy and his fiancee at Harveys Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe. The Rev. Ronald Sayed was apparently so moved that he called the Tahoe Daily Tribune, which did a July 19 article.
New York Police Department spokesman Sgt. Vincent Gravelli said McCarthy’s claims are fiction.
No survivors were found in the rubble after Sept. 12. The only recently active officer named Daniel McCarthy was 47 and retired before Sept. 11, Gravelli said Monday.
Police also dismissed McCarthy’s claims that his supposed partner, Dominick Imperatore, who was to be his best man, died in the collapse. No one by that name is or was a New York City police officer or casualty, Gravelli said.
It is unclear why McCarthy told the story. He and his new bride apparently received nothing free while staying at the resort, spokesman John Packer said.
Neither McCarthy nor his wife could be reached at a number he gave the Tribune or at hotels where the couple had reservations. The Tribune said it was working on a follow-up story to set the record straight.
A number of people have fabricated stories related to Sept. 11. Most notable was a man who impersonated a firefighter to con people out of food, money, and housing.