In an alleged attempt to gain recognition on YouTube, two teenagers reportedly scripted and acted out what appeared to be a real kidnapping at a mall in Forsyth County causing onlookers with massive concern to notify the authorities.
Some of the visitors at The Collection mall were shaken up on July 3 when they believed they had seen a kidnapping in the act of taking place.
Many people called 911 to report the incident, saying that they had seen a woman with her hands tied and something covering her head being driven out of the mall parking lot. The worried citizens also stated that the purported victim was screaming and saying that the driver was going to murder her.
When the Forsyth County Sherriff’s Office was informed of the reports they responded quickly and sent over half of the on-duty officers toward the shopping center. Five officers from nearby police departments also joined in the search for the alleged kidnapper and his victim.
Since some of the people who saw the event had issued the license plate number in addition to the make and model of the vehicle, the authorities knew they were seeking a specific white Chevy Tahoe.
After scouring the city blocks for 20 minutes an SUV matching the description of the one reported was located and pulled over in a parking lot close to The Collection.
With their guns drawn the officers ordered both people to exit the vehicle and identified the alleged victim as 17-year-old Ava Coleman, and the suspected captor as Christopher Kratzer, 19.
As the authorities collected details about what had taken place at the mall, Coleman and Kratzer were reported as disclosing that they filmed the faux kidnapping so they could post it on their YouTube channel to try to attract more subscribers.
The pair were taken into custody where they were booked into the county jail and they are facing charges for accusations of felony causing a false public alarm, and misdemeanor reckless conduct.
Coleman posted bond and was released from custody, but Kratzer was not issued a bond amount and remains incarcerated because he is currently on probation for an unrelated incident.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.