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Man Arrested For False Report of Shooting at Sweetwater Campaign Van: PD

A man was arrested Thursday for falsely reporting that he was shot at while driving a campaign van for a Sweetwater mayoral candidate, police said.

Ricardo Rodriguez has been charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false report after police found his statements about the shooting were inconsistent. He previously claimed that someone shot at the van, leaving two bullet holes in the driver's side door, while he was out campaigning for Jose Diaz on Sunday.

Diaz told NBC 6 on Tuesday that he was not ruling out the possibility that his political rival, Mayor Orlando Lopez, or somebody else from his campaign was behind the shooting.

Lopez disputed that claim, and also alleged that it was staged to boost Diaz's campaign. Sweetwater Police Chief Placido Diaz said the department was also investigating if the shooting was fabricated.

Rodriguez said the shooting happened at around 10 a.m. on Sunday, but he was hesitant to report it until the next day because of the police department's connections with Mayor Lopez.

As he was being taken to jail, Rodriguez told reporters he was innocent and didn't shoot at the van. He also claimed he was arrested simply because the police wanted to and had the power.

Placido Diaz said there was no reason to believe Jose Diaz or anyone else was involved in this.

"The fact that (Rodriguez) was working for the campaign -- this is not a political matter," Placido Diaz said. "This is a police matter."

Rodriguez was booked into jail on $1,500 bond. Attorney information was not available.

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