A group of friends plan a trip for a South American trek. In preparation, they receive the recommended vaccinations, exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and take a class on what to expect on their trip. During the class, they are told about possible hazards they may experience. These include exposure to infectious disease from insects and contaminated water, falls along steep terrain, and, most nerve-wracking of all, attacks along highways by local bandits.
The first week of the trip is uneventful, but during the second week, an incident occurs that results in one of the friends being put in jail. Investigation shows that during a hike between villages, the accused assaulted a young man who was on his way home from his job at an auto shop. According to the accused, the young man had wielded a knife and threatened the group. Investigators, however, found that the young man was carrying a plastic wand, which he had bought for his little sister, and that he never acted in an aggressive manner toward the group of friends.
Which of the following options likely explains the discrepancy between the accused’s version of events and what really happened?