Jokes between friends are very common, and it’s not unusual for a jokes to go a little too far, but this story takes ‘going too far’ to a whole new level as it literally led to a crazy manhunt to find the ‘victim’ of the joke.
Christian Joe was the victim of a very extravagant prank on his 30th birthday, orchestrated by friends and his girlfriend.
Two of Joe’s friends, dressed in hoods to disguise themselves chased him and his girlfriend, Melody DeJesus down a city street in New York before they were ‘kidnapped’ by being pushed in a black van and driven away.
Joe was actually being driven to a surprise birthday celebration in Northern Pennsylvania.
While things ended up well for Joe, passersby who saw the scene were clearly not in on the joke, as they immediately began calling the police to alert them that a couple had been abducted.
This led to a three-day police manhunt. Helicopters were scanning for the ‘missing couple’ and the CCTV footage was run on TV and in newspapers, in hope of finding Joe, his girlfriend and their abductors.
According to The Telegraph, Julian Mann, who acted as one of the kidnappers, said, “We understand how it must have looked. It wasn’t malicious at all”. This was following ‘being interviewed for hours and (having) his house searched for weapons’ (The Telegraph).
New York City Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly, said “we did devote significant resources, but there will be no charges”.
Needless to say when it comes to birthday jokes between friends, it’s always wise to make sure that your actions didn’t cause a crazy manhunt as a result.
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