The fake kidnapping of a child in Sequim, Washington on Saturday afternoon has not only parents outraged, but children terrified. According to ABC News, two masked men were seen grabbing a 4-year-old boy sitting on a park bench, and then putting the child in a van before driving off.
This incident had parents and children at the park terrified, some parents calling 911 while others chased after the van in an attempted to get a license plate number. ABC News stated that those parents were later shocked and outraged after they found out the kidnapping had actually been a hoax set up to film a YouTube video promoting kidnapping awareness.
ABC Chicago’s Eye Witness News is reporting that the police are now investigating possible charges against the two men who set up and executed the fake kidnapping. Two individuals have stepped forward and claimed responsibility for the fake kidnapping. The two claim in the video that they had called Sequim police in advance of their stunt and explained the situation and had even received the okay from the police department to proceed.
According to ABC News, representatives from the Sequim Police disagree with the two individuals, and said that they didn’t receive the proper notifications.
“We got a call moments before the incident happened at the park, with someone saying something to the effect of they are going to be filming a documentary-type video involving a fake kidnapping,” Sargent Detective Sean Madison told ABC News. “We don’t consider that to be a warning or an advisement.”
ABC News has identified the two people as Jason Holden, 24, and his twin brother Jeremy. The two reportedly coordinated the hoax with their stepmother who had allowed them to fake kidnap her 4-year-old son. “The police never said it wasn’t a good idea,” said Holden.
The two did return to the park to explain to everyone that the whole thing was fake and that it was for a video on kidnapping awareness, but the parents did not react kindly to them or their explanations. According to KOMO News, Rebekah Asin, a parent who was at the park Saturday didn’t think the two had gone about their filming in the correct manner, “I saw this guy, he’s wearing a mask, just two-handed grabs this kid and jumps into the van and takes off.”
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 two have apologized and according to ABC Chicago’s Eye Witness News, the two could be charged with misdemeanor dangerous conduct or with failing to obtain a permit.