Australia. The Internet. Usually something is bound to make you shake your head when you see those words together in the same sentence.
Five men who staged a kidnap prank for a YouTube video were charged by the West Australian police for a video they shot back in September. In the footage, a young teenage boy who was handcuffed and gagged, almost naked save for a pair of shorts, escaped from the back of a car and made a run for it. The incident, which according to witness reports, seemed real, stirred concern and the police were called.
While the video was intended for a joke, it was no joke for Australian authorities. After the incident, the authorities, who actually went on to investigate the “kidnapping”, wasted valuable time and resources only to find out it was all a prank.
The men involved creating the video have also been involved in various other prank videos, acts that would have undoubtedly gotten them into trouble with the law. The kidnapping hoax, however, was the final straw.
As for the five men who were charged, The West Australian, while naming their identities, report:
A 25-year-old Balcatta man, 23-year-old Shenton Park man, 22-year-old West Leederville man, 21-year-old Wembley man and a 21-year-old Carine man have been charged with creating a false belief.
The men involved in the video are set to appear in Perth Magistrate’s Court on March 5.