2 Teens Arrested for Faking Kidnapping They Planned to Put on YouTube: Cops
The Georgia teens staged an abduction in a mall parking lot, authorities said.
A female with a hood over her head screaming "He's going to kill me," was in reality just part of a prank kidnapping that was going to be posted to YouTube, according to authorities.
Two Georgia teenagers now face felony charges for staging an abduction in the parking lot of a shopping mall that prompted several worried calls to 911, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.
Ava Coleman, 17, and Christopher Kratzer, 19, have been charged with felony counts of causing a false public alarm and misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct, authorities said.
Multiple emergency calls were made July 3 about 6 p.m. reporting a woman was being held hostage inside a Chevrolet SUV, the department said. Dispatchers sent eight cruisers, more than half the sheriff's manpower in south Forsyth County, officials said.
Five officers from a neighboring police department were also sent.
Law enforcement officers spent 20 minutes speeding through the area with lights and sirens on, looking for the alleged kidnapping victim, authorities said.
"If you want to create a social media following, I would strongly dissuade you from this stupidity," sheriff Ron Freeman said in the post. "Good armed citizens might have been justified in using force to stop what they legitimately believed was a kidnapping. Committing a criminal act for social media likes will get you arrested in Forsyth County, that's not the kind of attention most people want to have."
Callers told emergency operators the woman was tied up and there was a hood or pillow case over her head. Based on license plate numbers that were taken down by concerned citizens, a white SUV was pulled over, authorities said.
Coleman and Kratzer were allegedly filming the staged event and planned to upload it to the video site.
"Yes, that's right, for a social media channel to gain more followers," the Facebook post said.
The teens were arrested and taken to Forsyth County Jail, authorities said. Coleman was released on bond. Kratzer was being held without bail for allegedly violating the terms of his probation for a prior incident, according to online records.
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