NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The apparent abduction Friday of a Washington Heights couple was nothing more than a surprise birthday hoax, police said Monday.
Police spent the weekend looking for a man and a woman who witnesses said were kidnapped by two men in a dark-colored minivan just before 7 p.m. Friday near 173rd Street and Haven Avenue.READ MORE: NYPD: Craig Tamanaha Charged With Arson For Setting Christmas Tree On Fire Outside FOX News Building
Surveillance video of the incident shows the couple walking down the street as the two men are seen running after them.
[cbs-audio url=”http://newyork.cbslocal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14578484/2013/04/abduct-1.mp3″ size=”340″ download=”false” name=”Cops: Washington Heights Abduction Was Surprise Birthday Hoax” artist=”WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports”]
Police said several people called 911 to report the incident saying they heard a woman scream and saw the two men forcing the victims into the van at gunpoint. However, no one was ever reported missing.
Watch the video below:
READ MORE: Con Edison Asks Over 140,000 Brooklyn, Queens Residents To Conserve Energy While Crews Repair Electric Cables
Authorities now say the alleged kidnappers were friends of the victims and were whisking them away to the Poconos.
“For a surprise party for one of the participants,” said NYPD Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.
[cbs-audio url=”http://newyork.cbslocal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14578484/2013/04/abduct-1-michaels-w41-soc-abarone.mp3″ size=”340″ download=”false” name=”Cops: Washington Heights Abduction Was Surprise Birthday Hoax” artist=”1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reports reports”]
Browne said while not a crime, the hoax did waste officers’ time and police resources.
“If you’re going to have a birthday party, just put an invitation in the mail,” he said
Police said despite reports, they don’t believe anyone was armed and say no charges will be filed.MORE NEWS: As COVID Cases Climb In Tri-State Area, Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Booster Appears To Protect Against Omicron Variant
Please share your thoughts below…