‘Kidnapped’ boy begs for help; how strangers react may surprise you

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Yousef Saleh Erakat says his biggest fear is getting kidnapped. He wanted to know how strangers would react if the unthinkable happened. Would they help him? Or would they ignore him?

With the help fouseyTube, Erakat created a social experiment. He ran to strangers and told them he had been kidnapped. The entire experiment was captured on hidden cameras.

It may be difficult to watch as Erakat runs up to strangers and yells that “some man in a jacket” attempted to put him in a vehicle.

The reactions of many strangers will restore your faith in humanity, however the reactions of others may leave cause for concern. One man shook the hands of the “kidnapper” and walked away.

“I would get home early from school and sit on my front lawn until my parents came home because I felt like someone was inside my house waiting for me,” Erakat wrote. “This video was a way for me to express that fear in an artistic way and also spread positive change as to why it is important to act when put into these types of situations.”

If you were in a similar situation, what would you? That’s the question Erakat wants everyone to ask themselves.


  • Ms. K

    This is a MAJOR FAIL!!! The kid and everyone involved in this lame idea of an “experiment” should be prosecuted!!! It’s equivalent to calling in a fake bomb threat, shooter in a school, or any other false claim! NOT FUNNY!!

  • Irene Carmen

    Ms. K. What’s NOT FUNNY is that this actually happens! Look at the 3 girls that were kidnapped in Ohio and found decades later. The neighbors even said they thought something was fishy, but because they didn’t do anything 4 family’s lives were changed forever. THAT’S NOT FUNNY! I commend these people for bringing up something that happens everyday in this country. It just goes to show you what society does in this day and age in situations like this.

  • Ms. K

    Irene… The mere fact that this DOES happen is exactly my point!! Which part did you not understand??? That is why this “experiment” was NOT funny!

  • FaithC

    This is sad that everybody did not call 911 as soon as soon as the child said that someone was trying to take him. It would be better to find out that it was the child’s father by the police than for any child to be kidnapped.
    If this was real and it was your child, your sister, brother and so on, would you not hope that someone would help and call 911?
    People want to believe that nobody would do such a thing, nobody would try to hurt a child that they do not react if they see it happening.
    If a child approached me I would call 911. I would not wait.

  • William C. Baner ( USMC )

    Ms. K,
    Thats right this experiment is not funny and the people who are doing this experiment are showing what people like you and I would do. ( I KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO ). They are doing a good thing why would you prosecute them. And call in a fake bomb or a shooter is school just to say those things is very LAME. You call this a False Claim, I think you should look at the video again you missed something.

    • Ms. K

      No, I didn’t miss anything. I saw a kid and his cohorts making false claims of an extremely serious nature to various members of the general public in an effort to gain nothing but their response. The rest of your comment makes no sense.

      • Alex

        Let’s see if we can do this slow and steady for you to understand. If this was a real abduction… that kid would be in that guys basement or somewhere else and he would be helpless. The point is, 2 people in the entire video did something to help when they didnt know it was fake. It’s showing the fact that to many people are both to scared, or to easily convinced that someone is who they say they are. Consider this a training exercise, and we saw only 2 groups pass out of atleast 5 that EPICALLY FAILED.

    • Ms. K

      Since you feel so strongly that false claims are “okay” if they’re made under the umbrella of an “experiment”, why don’t you run on down to your closest airport, approach random people and tell them you have a bomb…just to see how they will react. Then get back to us on how LAME your experiment was.

      • FaithC

        If you did that everyone would be yelling and having a fit as they should. The sad part about this is that people who thought a child may be in distress did not have a fit. They just went about their business. If you asked people on the street if they thought a child was being kidnapped would they do something every one of them would say yes. This just shows you that people may say yes, but when it comes down to it they would do nothing. It brings a very good point to light.
        I guess you would be one of the ones to do nothing.

  • Leesa Harrison Neal

    Well, for the ones that didnt help, they tried , but, the boy told them that was his father…….a good lesson here is to make sure your kids know how to scream, “this is not my dad”, and run away……..we busy ourselves by taking time for baseball practice and dance classes…shouldnt we also take the time to teach them how to react if they are ever in this situation……and, if sure wouldnt be to just stand there, or agree the perp is your father

  • Ms. K

    See the BIG picture, FaithC. See the BIG picture. It was a LIE. People pull stunts all the time and no one knows when to believe, or not. Also…the kid did not appear to be frightened, in any way. There are a few adults left (thankfully) that can assess a situation and make a rational decision rather than jump to conclusions. Just think, for a minute. It will serve each and every one of us well.

  • Jim G

    This is so wrong on so many levels. I would have had this guy in handcuffs with gun to his head over somebody’s attempt at getting a video onto the internet. If anyone called 911 over this, the people in the video should have been charged with false 911 call.

    • Ms. K

      Jim G… Thank you. I’m glad someone finally sees the real issue here. There are much more effective ways for these people to make their point without crying wolf at the public’s expense. Their issue is valid…but their method of proving it severely lacking. Basically, under NO circumstances should someone make such a serious claim and falsify, or use any other form of trickery in an attempt or to see how the public would respond, I say again… try going to an airport and say you have a bomb…just to test how people will respond. There’s no difference in the seriousness of the matters.

  • cmack

    I think this is a good video for people to view of the world as it actually happens every day. The lady that deems this not funny, she is correct, it is not. But real tragedies such as these are not funny, and I’m glad I watched the video to help me focus more on teaching my son and daughter what to do if this unthinkable situation happens. Open your eyes and start making a difference.

  • Elsa

    I think this video was great. It’s something that you’d see on the who “what would you do”. For all we know, the minor and the youtube channel could have contacted the authorities in advance to get approval to do such an experiment. Honestly, a way they could have furthered this experiments from a sociological point of view was do it with varies different ages, races of children and various ages and races of “kidnappers” to show the true colors of society. I honestly don’t think they would have gotten away with this, and the many 911 calls without penalty, unless they had informed the police department and arranged something. Granted everyone is open to their own opinion, whether everyone agrees or not.

  • Daniel Johnson

    Mrs K,,,, , This video to me is a GREAT idea to help raise awareness on this type of situation. obviously you don’t have a family or kids. The majority of people on here leaving comments agree that this is a great informing video. Seems to me you have some issues. If you don’t like it then don’t watch the video or read the comments on here. So what if its a false claims video… its helping raise awareness on kidnapping and how other people reacted to the situation. GET A LIFE

  • RoadAgent

    I was at Hollywood Park Race Track 30 or more years ago when A thief screamed that he had A bomb to try to escape the police with A fist full of money he had snatched from A teller. Fifty two people were taken to the hospital when the crowd was finally calmed.
    A little different than what these two did me thinks. This guy had only his face getting smashed to worry about.

  • KiNgOfPoPLiVeS1

    Yousef Erakat is FouseyTUBE. The child in the video is not Yousef.
    I found this experiment to be an eye opener. Yousef goes sometimes to extremes to show us what is happening in the world. But if he didn’t take it to the extreme we wouldn’t notice it now, would we? Our world has gotten to the point where we need it to be this extreme for us to see and recognize it.

  • Jakub Reilly

    Anyone heard of What Would you Do? Essentially like this. It helps raises awareness and its sad to see the people who failed. Honestly yes it could be someone crying wolf, but does that mean we should take it less seriously? I think not, do it in an airport and yes you’ll find out what happens to you. Same as here if a kid comes up and says he’s been kidnapped then you should probably not take it lightly.

  • Tim F

    His biggest fear is getting kidnapped? Really? Not his parents getting hurt/dying, or his house burning down, or failing in school, or losing his friends, or not finding a girlfriend, or any other logical thing for a young boy to worry about?

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