Fake kidnapping for YouTube video angers parents, scares kids
SEQUIM, WASH. (WJLA) - At first glance, the video above is terrifying.
A man in a mask runs into a crowded park in the middle of the day, grabs a young boy from a bench in front of the playground, loads him into a van and drives off.
Other parents at the park are seen screaming, panicking, and even trying to chase the man toward the van.
Moments later, though, the "kidnappers" return to the park with the boy - and admit the whole thing was a prank.
Naturally, parents who were at the park are outraged.
Many say their children who watched the whole incident take place are still frightened after what they saw. Tiffany Barnett told ABC's 'Good Morning America,' "My daughter is still terrified. She'll tell you right now - 'What if they take me? What if they take me?'"
Now, police are investigating whether cousins Jason and Jesse Holden should be charged with a crime.
Thursday morning, the two cousins told 'Good Morning America' in an exclusive interview, they realize they made a mistake.
"We just wanna start by making an apology to everyone there. We really didn't picture it having that impact," Jesse Holden tells the camera. "It's kind of hard for me to watch it. I feel a lot of shame when I watch it."
The two pranksters say they told police about the planned prank just moments before they did it - but word obviously didn't reach everyone, and they're just thankful the officer flagged down to find their car after it drove off didn't shoot them.
Jesse Holden told 'GMA' they didn't perform the fake kidnapping for a "prank video" - but later admitted it was designed to draw traffic to their prank-filled YouTube page.
"I don't want to get in trouble for it, obviously," Jesse said.
The two insist the idea was "to raise awareness about child abductions."
On Thursday, the two cousins say they won't stop making videos - but said they'll try to "be smarter" about the types of videos they make in the future.