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A woman claiming to be the cousin of Tire Sampson, the teenager who died at a Florida amusement park, is exposed as an impostor by the victim’s mother

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As she prepared to lay their loved one to rest after a tragic accident, Tire Sampson’s family released a statement about someone claiming to be the teenager’s cousin.

Sampson’s mother told detectives “she doesn’t know who this woman is,” OCSO spokeswoman Michelle Guido explained in a Thursday, March 31, email to the Sun-Sentinel. His lawyers also confirmed that no one in the family knew this alleged cousin.

Tire Sampson (left), woman believed to be Shay Johnson (Video screenshot)

The woman, known to the media as Shay Johnson, has become a voice advocating for justice for the 14-year-old Missouri teenager. She was busy doing press around the March 24 accident, speaking at a memorial vigil and providing the media with much-needed insight into what would have happened that fateful evening.

In the hours after the teenager’s fatal fall during the 430ft free fall, Johnson told the media that Sampson had been refused entry to two rides earlier in the evening, but he called excitedly about getting on the FreeFall ride.

“He called me. He said ‘They’re going to let me go up. I can go up! I can go up!’ continued the impostor. “I said, ‘OK, go ahead. I didn’t know that would be the last time I would speak to him.

She targeted her anger at the operator who allowed the 6ft5, 340lb teenager to ride despite weight restrictions. “You told him he couldn’t ride the swing. You told me he couldn’t ride the sling. So why did you allow him to do this if he was overweight? »

“I hate it,” she continued in a self-proclaimed family spokesperson post, “I hate that they didn’t turn it down. …I feel like they just watched [him] more just to get his money.

But the woman many believed to be Sampson’s cousin is Lavonia Browning, a 32-year-old Orlando woman. Confirmed by local newspaper Orlando Sentinel via court records and interviews.

Records obtained by the local outlet revealed that Browning had been “imprisoned at least four times in Orange County, including for domestic violence and driving with a suspended or revoked license. During an arrest in April 2020, she gave a false name and fake ID to a deputy who arrested her, according to an arrest report.

She has since been released on bail following an arrest in December on charges of “arson and criminal mischief” for allegedly setting a car on fire in August. Browning is currently awaiting trial.

Local reporters were able to identify where the woman worked. She was a host at Flash Dancers Bar, an adult entertainment club in Orlando, for five years.

The owner of the establishment, William Sierer, who registered Browning as Lewishena Browning, told the Orlando Sentinel that he felt “terrible” at the actions of his former employee. “We are part of the community here in Orlando, and I feel bad about the tragedy,” he said.

Authorities said there were no plans to charge Browning because she committed no crime, specifically mentioning that she did not raise or receive money on behalf of the high school football player. . No arrests will be made based on this information.

The phone number Johnson gave to the press has also been deactivated.

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