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Reported abduction attempt was just YouTube 'prank,' police say

Posted at 1:53 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 18:25:03-04

GREENHILLS, Ohio -- The apparent attempted abduction reported in a Greenhills neighborhood this week was simply an attempt at a prank, according to police.

Earlier, police had warned residents to be on the lookout after an 11-year-old boy reported that two men in a car pulled up alongside him while he was riding his bike and told him to "get in the car."

They pulled a U-turn and followed, but the boy fled to a neighbor's house.

However, it was all just an attempt at a "prank" to post on YouTube, Greenhills Police Chief Neil Ferdelman said Wednesday. He said a 17-year-old and 18-year-old admitted to it. 

The two told police that they were "pranking" people by asking them "funny stuff," police said in a news release. They had also asked several people, "Where in the haberdashery hemoglobin is Burley Circle?" 

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They told police that they had not actually told the boy to "get in the car," but had said, "Aye, aye, bro, bro, come here real fast." 

"They have been trying to emulate YouTube videos that were reportedly funny by trying to get reactions to people by asking bizarre questions," Ferdelman said. "They had cameras and so forth to videotape."

The two were remorseful and cooperated with investigators, Ferdelman said.

No criminal charges have been filed. Police said that an Ohio law for criminal child enticement was found unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in 2014 because it was overly broad, and prosecutors could find no other crime that fit what happened.