Staged child abduction enrages parents; police chief says ‘no law against stupid’
SEQUIM, Wash. (KCPQ) — “Everyone was furious,” said Rebekah Asin, a parent who watched a young boy get snatched up by a masked man on Sunday.
It happened on a playground at Carrie Blake Park in Sequim.
“It was terrifying for everybody involved,” said Tiffany Barnett, another parent who witnessed the ‘abduction.’
A van pulled over next to a playground full of kids, and a man in a ski mask jumped out, raced up to a little boy, scooped him up, and jumped back in the van.
Parents started calling 911, while kids and others on the playground panicked. Moments later, the van came back, and the people inside told the parents they were making an educational video on child abductions, and the boy’s mother was in on it.
“They were saying it’s for kidnapping awareness, to show how easy it is to do something like that,” Asin said. “But I didn’t see them apologize to anybody.”
Barnett called it “a huge slap in the face.”
The stunt was staged by twin brothers Jeremy and Jason Holden. They have a YouTube page where they post pranks. Some are harmless, but others include fake store robberies, and kidnappings, to get a reaction from the public.
Jeremy Holden insists the child abduction video was not a prank and was made only to educate the public. They have received plenty of angry posts on their Facebook page and Holden said he now regrets doing it.
“We didn’t expect people to get that upset about it,” he said.
Sequim Police Chief Bill Dickinson does not believe the bothers committed a crime — “There’s no law against stupid” — but says they are investigating. Still, the chief said these kinds of stunts and pranks are dangerous, and the twins risk getting shot from responding police or even the public who may be armed.
“Based on what they’re seeing, if they (members of the public) believe a serious crime is taking place, they would be justified,” Dickinson said.