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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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m4christ2 April 16 2014 at 2:15 PM

perhaps they should have had someone in the park to explain before they did it?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
excontroller April 16 2014 at 3:05 PM

When doing something like THAT, I woulda given the local constable a heads up! What an idiot! He could've been shot by a civilian. He should've known better than to do it without pre-approval.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
iplayeasy2 April 16 2014 at 7:39 PM

This is the stupidist thing I've ever seen. If this happened in Phoenix the "abductor" would have more than likely been shot in the head.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
lex.payne April 16 2014 at 2:27 PM

There are some things that are inexcusable. Too bad he didn't try that stunt in Florida with over a million citizens carrying concealed weapons .

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Say NO to libs! April 16 2014 at 2:28 PM

Stupid, SICK stunt! They should all face charges and pay stiff penalties for terrorizing the witnesses!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Sahib Wieben April 16 2014 at 2:29 PM

That is art performance gone WAY WRONG!

One conceal carry mom, could have DRASTICALLY altered that scene ... bad choice folks!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
glassrepaired April 16 2014 at 7:24 PM

Try that in Florida, you'd be shot as you steped out of that van with the mask on, stupid tricks like that will get you killed.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
chvol glassrepaired April 16 2014 at 8:24 PM

I wonder what the fatality rate is on Halloween.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Jocelyne April 16 2014 at 2:30 PM

This commercial would have been OK only if everyone is in on it.....the people in the park too...so as to avoid any confrontations........at all.....or someone pulling a gun to interfere....

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
Stacey Jocelyne April 16 2014 at 2:33 PM

If everyone was in on it then you would never get TRUE reactions...so what would be the point?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ilenedan2 April 16 2014 at 2:30 PM

Someone could easily have pulled out a gun and shot the driver or one of the abductor's through the head. I could also see someone ramming that vehicle with their car, with risk of bodily injury to every one involved, rather than allow what they perceived to be a probable kidnapping/murder to progress.

If police were notified, why on earth did they allow this?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
mklittle022666 April 16 2014 at 2:31 PM

really?? you're trying to teach kids how to avoid being abducted?? i'm pretty sure you told your child you were gonna be in the mask & you were gonna come grab him & run to the car, drive away, but as others have said you didn't take into consideration the reaction of the bystanders!!! what if someone would've ran after the vehicle & ended up having a heart attack? or if someone ran out in front of the vehicle & the driver would've failed to stop in time!!! there are PLENTY of other ways you could get your message across!! you "didn't think people would react that way" are you serious, do you watch any tv at all??? you have to have at some point seen how people respond to the news of children disappearing, or people being hurt!!! I know we live in a society that has become very immune to a lot of violence but the idea of a child being abducted or injured will ALWAYS bring out the mother bear protecting her cubs instinct!!! DUMB MOVE PEOPLE, hope to God you learned something from your stunt!!!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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