CBS/AP) Pittsburgh police say a volunteer for John McCain's presidential campaign made up a story of being robbed, pinned to the ground and having the letter "B" scratched on her face in a politically inspired attack.
Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the police department's investigations division, says Ashley Todd is being charged with making a false report to police.
Bryant says the 20-year-old college student from Texas admitted Friday that the story was false.
"She just opened up and said she wanted to tell the truth," Bryant said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "She was upset with the media for blowing this into a political firestorm."
Todd, who is white, told police she was attacked by a black man Wednesday night.
She claimed she gave the attacker $60 before he pinned her to the ground and scratched the letter "B" on her right cheek after seeing a McCain bumper sticker on her car.
Bryant says Todd can't explain why she invented the story or explain how the "B" was scratched onto her face.
"She said she doesn't remember doing it but knows it must have been her who did it," Bryant said, according to the Tribune-Review.
Todd reportedly thought of Barack Obama when she saw the "B" on her cheek and minutes later "came up what a plan" to manufacture the story, according to Bryant.
Police investigating the alleged attack noticed some inconsistencies in Todd's story and administered a polygraph test soon after her report, CBS station KDKA reports.
Authorities declined to release the results of that test, but investigators said they received photos from the ATM machine and "the photographs were verified as not being the victim making the transaction."
Police say they do not believe any other people were involved. They said Todd's friends believed the story about the attack.