Fake News: Suspect NOT Caught For The Robbing And Kidnapping Of Tekashi69 After Trying To Pawn Jewelry

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Suspect NOT Caught For The Robbing And Kidnapping Of Tekashi69 After Trying To Pawn Jewelry

Was 45-year-old Michael Bigson arrested while trying to pawn jewellery belonging to rapper Tekashi69 (aka 6ix9ine) after the singer was robbed, kidnapped and beaten up earlier today? No, that's not true, at least the part about a suspect being arrested. The robbery and kidnapping did take place but the story about the arrest was made up by a "fauxtire" site that fabricates stories in order to make money from advertising. It did not happen for real.

The story originated from an article published by Huzlers on July 22, 2018 titled "1 Suspect Caught For The Robbing And Kidnapping Of Tekashi69 After Trying To Pawn Jewelry" (archived here) which opened:

Michael Bigson 45, was caught earlier today while trying to pawn the jewelry he was told to wait while one of the manager called the police after he recognized the jewelry of be of rapper Tekashi 69.

Tekashi 69 who already suffers from mental retardation is in stable condition but doctors will perform more CT scans.

The rest of the article is mostly copied from a real TMZ report about Tekashi69 being robbed (which has already been updated with a different version of the incident):

Tekashi69 Pistol Whipped, Kidnapped, Robbed and Hospitalized

Tekashi69 Pistol Whipped, Kidnapped, Robbed and Hospitalized Tekashi69 was kidnapped, pistol whipped and robbed and is now in the hospital ... TMZ has learned. Sources close to Tekashi tell us, the rapper was working on a music video in Brooklyn early Sunday morning and at around 4AM he wrapped for the night and drove home.

But the picture of the suspect has been circulating online since at least 2012 in various galleries containing weird mugshots:

16 results - TinEye

Compare your search image to your result image. Quickly click the "Switch" button to switch back and forth between the two images and see the differences.

And Huzlers styles itself as a "fauxtire" website and carries a disclaimer at the bottom of each page:

Huzlers.com is the most infamous fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world. If it's trending on social media you'll find it here!

According to Splinter News the site is run by Pablo Reyes and David Martinez and according to Buzzfeed Reyes is involved with several other fake news websites. They tend to shy away from political stories, opting instead to write for a more "urban" audience, with stories about rappers, criminals and celebrities.

We wrote about huzlers.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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