A 16-year-old international student whose parents live in China faces mischief charges after apparently staging his own kidnapping. The Toronto fake kidnapping was filmed by the student himself, in which he blindfolded, gagged, and tied himself to a chair, making it appear as if he had been abducted. He then sent the video to his parents via social media, along with a text message demanding $1 million for his release.
680 News reports that shortly after midnight on Friday, September 27, York Regional Police were called to a residence at Huntington Park Drive, near Leslie and John streets in Thornhill, Ontario. The parents of the "victim" alerted police after they received the troubling video.
The police set out to investigate the alleged hostage situation, and it was then that they viewed the video. The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, had recently arrived in Canada from China as an international student.
Police officers managed to locate him only an hour later that same night, at around 1:30 a.m. He was at a McDonald's in Richmond Hill in the area of Valleymede Road and Highway 7, according to York Region News.
The youth was arrested on the spot and charged with mischief.
"York Regional Police is advising our community that any report of a kidnapping is taken very seriously," says the media release.
"Staging an incident that results in the use of police resources when there was no such incident is a criminal offence. It also needlessly ties up valuable police resources that are required to deal with actual emergencies." The youth will be appearing in court on October 31.
This is not the first time bizarre and fake kidnapping cases have been brought up to Canadian police. A university student in Kingston, Ontario tried to pull off a similar fiasco earlier this year. It is a huge time-waster for police, who must dedicate time and resources to investigating false claims.*
"A ton of resources are tied up to find out these things are just hoaxes," Const. Andy Pattenden told York Region News.
*This article has been updated.