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Fake abduction in park outrages many in Sequim

Staged Child Abduction Enrages Parents

SEQUIM, Wash. (AP) -- Police are investigating possible charges against people who staged a fake kidnapping in a park, terrifying parents and children who thought it was real.

Onlookers in the park watched as a minivan with two masked men pull up and one man jumped out, grabbed a toddler and took off. He was the boy's father. He later returned and explained the incident was recorded to create a video for social media on child abduction prevention and awareness.

No decision had been reached as of Wednesday on whether to file charges, said Victoria Ormand, assistant to Police Chief Bill Dickinson.

Dickinson told the Peninsula Daily News ( http://bit.ly/1jKLQw7 ) at least two people were under investigation in the Saturday afternoon incident at Carrie Blake Park.

They could be charged with misdemeanor dangerous conduct or with failing to obtain a permit, City Attorney Craig Ritchie said.

Two brothers from Port Angeles posted a video Tuesday, claiming responsibility, the newspaper said. They said they had notified police minutes before, but there was no warning to people in the park.

Witness Tiffany Barnett chased the van for about a block in an unsuccessful attempt to get the license plate number.

"I was shaking and bawling when I was running, and then I felt like a failure for not getting the information," Barnett said.

Learning the incident was staged "was like a big slap in the face," she said.

Barnett said a woman who identified herself as the "abducted" boy's mother told her "this was a research report to see how the public would react."

Frightened children were calling their parents to come and pick them up, while several adults at the park were screaming.

"They were all screaming, `You don't do that to people's kids. How would you like it if someone's kids got taken right next to yours?'?" Barnett said.

Officers arrived at the park while onlookers were yelling at the would-be kidnappers who apologized.

"It scared the crap out of our kids," Barnett said Monday. "It just makes me angry."

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thomashollman19 April 16 2014 at 2:19 PM

See a fake staged shoe throwing at a old hag doesn't look as they wanted it to llook now does it?

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darrell2112 April 16 2014 at 2:32 PM

i think we need to insititute a new call and call it the "idiot law" when people do stupid things they need to be brought up on the idiot law which punishment is a red hot poker and some fatty flesh..

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evnsaffl April 16 2014 at 6:00 PM

There is a TV program that pulls these kinds of pranks all the time, to test bystanders' reactions. They are lucky they don't cause unintended harm.

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lashby16812 April 16 2014 at 2:32 PM

Its to bad someone didn't shoot him in the ass. The world is full of stupid thoughtless people.

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thequeenowatever April 16 2014 at 5:48 PM

Sure, this would have scared me too, and the guy is lucky someone didn't have a gun and shoot him, but that being said, maybe it gave a wakeup call to the parents who don't pay attention to their children while at the park...it only takes a second for someone to grab your child.

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1 reply
wolfyspryncess thequeenowatever April 16 2014 at 6:09 PM

Indeed, many parents sit on their phone not paying attention to surroundings or their kids while at the park or anyplace else. It only takes a moment to go from your kid being right there to gone while you missed it. Drives me nuts seeing kids run off alone while their parent is distracted on the phone.

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nemonym April 16 2014 at 2:33 PM

Stupid & irresponsible. That MORON could've gotten shot or hurt, traumatized kids & adults --- could've given someone a heart attack. Put up a sign, inform people. If I could've taken him down myself I would have, he's lucky some huge guy didn't tackle him. An undercover or off duty cop could've shot him or his van..... STUPID.

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gghinmass April 16 2014 at 2:33 PM

Something very bad could have gone wrong here. Not a very smart thing to do. I often wonder, what are people thinking of?

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bill11w21 April 16 2014 at 2:37 PM

Obviously well-intentioned but very poorly thought out. When planning, address what could possibly go wrong ahead of time. Sequim PD dropped the ball, too. Having been told of what was planned, they should have stopped it before it started and permitted it only after there was adequate time to review the producer's plan and provide oversight during the video event. The Sequim City Council needs to investigate the PD's shortcomings and take corrective action. How can people (the producers) get so stupid in just thirty or forty years?.

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Nam Vet April 16 2014 at 10:20 PM

and if an elderly person saw it and had a heart attack? Poor way to raise awareness!

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geburuh April 16 2014 at 2:41 PM

I WOULD have shot him

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1 reply
chdblwinnr geburuh April 16 2014 at 2:43 PM

I have to agree with you. Believing it was real I would have drawn and shot them. And, I don't believe there is a jury in the land that would convict me for doing so. Not in this day and age.

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1 reply
wnagle53 chdblwinnr April 16 2014 at 2:50 PM

You obviously do not live in Massachusetts, where every criminal is a poor, unfortunate, misunderstood, victim, who has been oppressed by this mean society.

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