[Trigger warning.]

Father and 12-year-old daughter booked after fake kidnapping prank:
A Lacombe man and his daughter hatched an unusual practical joke to entertain themselves as they drove down Interstate 12: tie the girl's hands, duct-tape her mouth and watch the startled expressions as their fellow drivers noticed the apparent kidnapping in progress.

...Tim Williams, 45, was returning to St. Tammany Parish with his 12-year-old daughter after picking her up from his ex-wife at the Texas state line Wednesday afternoon when the two came up with the idea, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Cpl. Sean Beavers said. During the stunt, duct-tape was used to bind the girl's hands and cover her mouth, Beaver said.

...It's unclear when the two first started the stunt, but at least three motorists called 9-1-1 to report an abduction after seeing the girl bound and gagged in the front seat of the pickup about 3:50 p.m. as the vehicle passed the Louisiana 1077 exit on I-12, Beavers said. Deputies rushed to the highway as several motorists surrounded the truck in an attempt to keep the supposed kidnapper from getting away, he said.

The patrol cars caught up with Williams at the Louisiana 59 exit and learned it was all a prank when they pulled Williams over, Beavers said.

Because of the severity of the situation, Williams was booked into the St. Tammany Parish jail in Covington with criminal mischief and contributing to the delinquency of a minor before being released later in the day on a $3,000 bond. His daughter, who was not identified because she is a juvenile, was cited for criminal mischief and released to the care of an uncle, Beavers said.

"Their lives were put in danger as well as the lives of the general public," Beavers said. "Anything could have happened over that prank. That's why we felt he needed to go to jail for that, too many lives were put in danger to let him go on his way."
First, the good news: Multiple people called police, and some of them risked their own safety (or thought they were, anyway) by boxing in the vehicle in which they thought a real kidnapping was taking place. That's the kind of thing that restores one's faith in humanity, you know?

And I don't know about anyone else, but my faith sure as shit needs restoring when I read about a father who thinks faking a kidnapping with his daughter to fool unsuspecting motorists is a fun idea. Lordy begordy.

I'm also curious as to how it was ascertained that the situation was a prank. I mean, I'm sure the guy wasn't actually kidnapping his daughter (because that's easily confirmed), but how do they know for sure the kidnapping prank story wasn't created to explain something actually nefarious going on, like Dad punishing his daughter in a seriously fucked-up way? How do they know for sure they didn't merely interrupt an elaborate sexual assault...?

I guess they'd say because the daughter assured them otherwise, but that's the same daughter whose dad, at best, conceived of a kidnapping game in which she was bound and gagged. So maybe she has reason to lie, or maybe was coerced into lying, is all I'm saying. I really hope that the investigation is ongoing, and fear that it's not.

[H/T to Shaker Anitanola.]

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