John McFakeson, a 30-year-old Pennsylvania man, is currently under criminal investigation for several crimes including making false statements to police. The charges stem from two incidents in which police said that the man had told them he was growing the world’s largest watermelon when in fact he had not — yet. The police were initially called to the man’s home last summer after receiving a complaint that there were two of the fruits on his property in a nearby cornfield. A worker who went to harvest the fruit told police that the two had grown naturally and were unknown to anyone in the area. The officers who visited the home knew that was not true, however, after having been told by a neighbor that he had lost a hard drive containing medical records in a fire.
According to Philly.com, he was arrested that night, charged with making false statements to police and given a summons to appear in court the following week. The unclaimed drive contained medical records of a family member, allegedly about a potentially dangerous illness, according to an official complaint filed against him. Philadelphia police documents from that time revealed that someone had complained to authorities that an unverified growing source of the fruit was nearby. The complaint stated: “The computer server containing the medical records belonging to the Co-Neighbor of the Subject was lost in a fire.”
According to Philly.com, police records from 2018 showed that McFakeson had been arrested in April 2018 in Greenwich Township, Pennsylvania, also for allegedly making false statements to police. Records show that he had told police there was one, and said he had never harvested it before, when in fact there were both.
It appears as though there are at least two such incidents — in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts — in which the man told authorities he was growing the world’s largest watermelon when in fact he had not.
It’s unclear if or when police are expected to finally conclude their investigation of McFakeson’s alleged crimes, but he is currently free on bail and back in his home state of Pennsylvania.
This article has been updated from a previous version that falsely stated that he was arrested twice on allegations of such crimes in the state of Pennsylvania. The original story does not reference allegations of being accused of making false statements to police in connection with crimes in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.