Sunday, April 20, 2014

WA - Fake kidnapping of young boy stirs anger in Sequim

Fake kidnapping
Original Article


SEQUIM - Terror turned to outrage at a local park when parents realized a child kidnapping that played out before their eyes was actually faked -- just to make a video.

On any given day, parents and their kids are often found enjoying Carrie Blake Park in Sequim. However, last Saturday treated visitors to a very different scene, as families watched a man in a ski mask appear to kidnap a little boy.

"I saw this guy, he's wearing a mask, just two-handed grabs this kid and jumps into the van and takes off," said Rebekah Asin, a parent who was at the park Saturday.

The abduction looked so real, Tiffany Barnett jumped up and gave chase.

"I was trying to run after them, trying to get their license plate number," Barnett said.

Two cousins, Jason and Jesse Holden were the abductors in the video. They told ABC News that they regret nearly everything about the staged kidnapping.

"I'll be the first one to admit that the way we went about it wasn't the best way. We could have definitely done it another way," Jason Holden said.

Parents realized it was all a ruse when the masked man returned to the park a short time later to say everyone was safe. He also admitted the "crime" was staged to make an educational video on "kidnapping awareness."

The cousins are revaluating their tactics and responsibility after scathing reaction online.

"There's a line to draw where we can do some of our ideas that we do. There's a line that should be drawn and not go over that line," Jason said.

Multiple witnesses called 911. Sequim Police Chief Bill Dickinson said people had good reason to be upset.

"People are angry when they are taken advantage of," Dickinson said. "When they are the butt of the joke, it's never funny."

"The parents were furious and the kids were scared," Asin said.

The cousins have other segments posted on Youtube showing a variety of pranks, including a staged robbery. Many believe this kidnapping project could have easily gotten someone hurt or killed.

"They're lucky that there wasn't an off-duty police officer or somebody carrying a concealed weapon that could have shot them," Barnett said.

Despite all that, nobody has been arrested because apparently no obvious crime was committed. Still, frightened children stood calling their parents, fearful they'd be snatched-up next.

"My daughter is still terrified," Barnett said. "She'll tell you right now, 'What if they take me? what if they take me?'"

Investigators are still looking to see if criminal charges are appropriate, or if the participants violated zoning and licensing rules.


Anonymous said...

No crime committed? You you freaking kidding me? I understand the stepmom said it was okay, but the real mom didn't know about it. To me, this is still kidnapping. You best believe i will be on the phones over the next couple of days, along with tracking people down to find out who's not enforcing existing laws.

Lance Mitaro said...

The cops were in on it and green-lighted this whole thing. Good luck with getting the "kidnapping" charge to stick as the kid already gave his consent to being taken beforehand and was subsequently returned unharmed, again, with the cooperation with the locals. Personally, I'm somewhat bemused that this demonstration offended you, but I bet you're totally fine with the fact that posting someone's personal and private information Online isn't reckless endangerment in your eyes?