Video: Man apologizes for staged child abduction in SequimApril 17, 2014 @ 1:51 pm (Updated: 2:30 pm - 4/18/14 )
The man behind a staged kidnapping that riled up park goers in Sequim says they will never pull a stunt like that again.
"It wasn't our intention to harm anybody," says Jason Holden, who made the video with his brother for their YouTube channel TwinzTV. "It wasn't really supposed to be based toward the people of Sequim. We were planning on putting this on our YouTube channel to get it out to the world."
Adults and kids at Carrie Blake Park in Sequim were shocked to see a masked man (Holden) run out of a van, grab a kid from a park bench, carry him back to the van and speed off.
"This is not a joke. This is not funny," people in the park can be heard shouting in the video after the men returned with the child.
The child taken from the park was Holden's nephew. His sister, the child's mother was in the van throughout the event. Holden tells KIRO Radio's Dori Monson they were making the video to raise public awareness about the dangers of kidnapping.
"I'll be the first to admit the way that we went about it probably wasn't the best way," says Holden. "We probably could have thought about it a lot more."
But Monson says filming a public awareness message sounds like a made up excuse after the fact.
"I thought the 'spread awareness thing' was bogus," says Monson, "because guys in ski masks don't jump out of vans and go snatch up kids out of parks. It maybe has happened, but it's not like it's an epidemic that you need to do a public service announcement on, is it?"
Holden assured Monson they were trying to send out a helpful message to make parents think more about watching their kids, and regardless of their motives, he says the video will have that effect.
"I can tell you one thing," says Holden, "everybody that watches this video, the next time they take their kids to the park, they're going to be thinking about it. It's going to be in their mind, and they're going to keep an eye on their kids, and they're going to be a lot more aware."
But people who watch the video weren't the only ones impacted. Many unsuspecting bystanders believed the incident was a real kidnapping leaving adults and kids who witnessed the event terrified.
"I want to apologize to everyone who was at the park, especially little kids. It wasn't at all our intentions to terrify little kids," says Holden. "We definitely could have thought about it a little bit more and did it in a different way to where it didn't involve so many people."
They did think enough to warn police before the undertaking. But Monson says Holden is lucky he didn't get a bullet in his back from some other witness who might have been carrying a gun.
"If somebody in a ski mask snatches up a kid out of a park and if I've got my gun and I'm confident I could stop them without hitting the kid, you don't think somebody would do that?"
Holden says he doesn't think someone would have taken a shot because he was carrying a kid. But he did repeat a number of times they should have really thought the whole thing through a little better.
Update on Friday:
A prosecutor in Sequim says no charges will be filed against Holden and his brother. City Attorney Craig Ritchie told the Peninsula Daily News that, "Scaring the hell out of people is not, as far as I can determine, a crime."
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.