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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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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.

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1 reply
chvol glassrepaired April 16 2014 at 8:24 PM

I wonder what the fatality rate is on Halloween.

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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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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?

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Tracey April 16 2014 at 6:09 PM

They should have talked to the parents and kids that were at the park, letting them know of their intentions to make a film. Parents could have then decided to leave or stay. Then it could have been more of a teaching moment for parents and kids alike.
Also, When you have a permit to carry .... you know better than to shoot at a person with a hostage, ESPECIALLY a child. Did anyone get the license plate ????

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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?.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
geburuh April 16 2014 at 2:41 PM

I WOULD have shot him

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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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wnagle53 April 16 2014 at 2:42 PM

As angry as it makes me, it gets it's point across. In the blink of an eye a child can be gone. We have been so conditioned to sit back and not react in crisis situations. That is why events like 9/11 , school shooting, child napping, etc. are so easily accomplished.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jamesfoleyca April 16 2014 at 6:00 PM

Idiots! If someone got hurt while trying to track the van, they would really get a nice punishment. And they notified the cops "minutes before"? This was not well thought out on any level.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
sigmetsue April 16 2014 at 2:42 PM

OK, these young folks get the Stupid prize for today.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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